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Standing policy to advocate improvements to UC SHIP

Authored by Ben Keller, with edits by Erik Green

Adopted January 13th, 2013

WHEREAS        the quality and cost of the UC SHIP health care program continues to be important for all UC students; and

WHEREAS        the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” requires that all group health plans meet certain minimum standards of healthcare coverage; and

WHEREAS        UC SHIP currently does not meet the standards of care mandated by the ACA for group healthcare plans offered on state health insurance exchanges created under the ACA, in that UC SHIP currently limits enrollees to a lifetime coverage cap of as little as $400,000* and a annual prescription drug cap of $10,000**, while lifetime coverage limits are prohibited under the Affordable Care Act***; and

WHEREAS        the UC SHIP lifetime and annual coverage caps are a severe financial burden on those students who are most in need of quality, timely medical care, including Kenya Wheeler, a UC Berkeley MA student in City and Regional Planning who exceeded the lifetime coverage cap for lifesaving cancer treatments; and

WHEREAS        self-funded Student Health Benefit Plans (SHBPs) currently do not satisfy the ACA’s “minimum essential coverage” mandate, and are therefore exempt from the ACA; and

WHEREAS        the University of California and other organizations, headed by the American Council of Education and the American College Health Association, have petitioned the Department of Health of Human Services to recognize SHBPs under the ACA and to evaluate how those standards should apply to student health plans such as UC SHIP; and

WHEREAS         that petition included a request to grandfather existing SHBPs and exempt them from the phase-out clause of annual benefit limits; and

WHEREAS        an exemption to the prohibitions on annual and lifetime caps for the 2013-2014 plan year would permit the University to continue to offer substandard health care coverage to students; therefore be it

RESOLVED      that the UC Student Association urges the UC Office of the President to refrain from pursuing any exemption from the same standards set by the ACA for group healthcare plans offered on state health insurance exchanges, and be a leader in discouraging other educational institutions from doing the same; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED      that regardless of the result of to the petition the Department of Health and Human Services, UCSA demands that annual and lifetime limits be eliminated from UC SHIP for plan year 2013-2014, which would meet the minimum standards for coverage mandated by the ACA for other healthcare plans offered on state health insurance exchanges; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED      that the UC Student Association charges the UCSA President and Executive Director to express our demands to all necessary parties.

*https://wfis.wellsfargo.com/ProductServices/A%20to%20Z/StudentInsurance/ucship/UCSantaCruz/dob/Documents/StandardStudentMedicalBenefitsSummaryFinal1112.pdf

**https://wfis.wellsfargo.com/ProductServices/A%20to%20Z/StudentInsurance/ucship/UCSantaCruz/dob/Documents/StudentRxBenefitNoMailOrderFinal.pdf

***http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2012/LifetimeLimits/ib.shtml

 

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