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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Campus

Third-party insurance acceptance at Student Health Center delayed due to pandemic


Chief Nurse Nicole Robinson inside the Health Center

Academic Blue will be the official Student Health Insurance Plan across the UH system for the 2020-2021 academic year. | File photo

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the  Student Health Center is experiencing delays in the process of accepting third-party insurances for student visits.

The health center only accepts the University-sponsored student insurance plan and out-of-pocket payments, but former Student Government Association President Allison Lawrence pushed to have third-party insurance acceptance by August.

“We brought it up to (President) Renu Khator in our meeting with her and she was like, ‘This needs to happen now,'” Lawrence said in an interview with The Cougar last November. “This is a priority, especially with the medical school coming up. We should really prioritize our health services at the University.”

Now, with Lawrence out of office and the suspension of in-person services at the Student Health Center, the August timeline has been pushed back. There isn’t a definite date or supporting details on when third-party insurances will be accepted.

Current SGA President Jasmine Khademakbari plans to pick up where Lawrence left off and lead her administration to get student’s third-party insurances accepted and available to use.

Although this is not one of my administration’s main initiatives, we are still determined to finish the work started by previous administrations,” Khademakbari said in an email. “I have been in contact with (Student Affairs and Enrollment Services) to continue this conversation and continue to advocate for third-party insurance to be accepted by the health center.”

Delays to the implementation of accepting new insurances are traced back to the coronavirus. SGA and the Student Health Center are now moving to revisit plans to make the decision on what the first new insurance accepted will be. 

“Unfortunately the pilot program to start taking third-party insurance has been put on pause due to the coronavirus,”  Khademakbari said. “As of now, (the) administration is still deciding on a third-party insurance carrier to pilot.”

Despite not being the pioneer of this initiative, Khademakbari believes that under the coronavirus pandemic has created the need for increased accessibility to health care.

 “I will be continuing to advocate for this to be implemented with (my) administration,” Khademakbari said. “I believe with the coronavirus, it is imperative that students get the health care they need.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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