Idaho college students are being forced off of their student health plans and unfortunately for many students, they may not qualify for a subsidy on Your Health Idaho. If an individual (single) student made less than $11,670, then they will not have access to the federal premium tax subsidy available to those who purchase a plan on Your Health Idaho.
To make matters worse Idaho is a state who decided not to expand Medicaid. Medicaid is joint federal and state program that helps low-income individuals or families pay for the costs associated with long-term medical and custodial care, provided they qualify. Although largely funded by the federal government, Medicaid is run by the state where coverage may vary. By not expanding this program as many other states have, low income earners will get no tax subsidy and will pay full price for their health plans.
Many argue that this is counterintuitive as it’s clear that low income earners should benefit most from the Affordable Care Act. So in a sense, the decision to cancel the student health program has out many students into a greater financial burden as they now have a new monthly expenditure compared to the old student health insurance plan that was bundled into tuition which typically is financed and paid at a later date.
According to the AP, experts are divided on whether this trend is positive. Some argue that plans from the marketplace are cheaper than college plans, while opponents say that the plans are less likely to be purchased this way since they aren’t part of a lump sum payment each year or semester.
There are also concerns that health exchange plans offer less coverage than the college plans previously offered.
Universities that are dropping insurance include William Paterson University, New Jersey City University, University of Washington, Washington State University, and Idaho State University, among others.