San José State University’s California State University Health Insurance Education Project coordinators will be busy on campus at the start of the semester offering support to students, faculty and staff who have questions about Covered California during the open enrollment period that ends Feb. 15.
The student coordinators will host three open enrollment support days – on Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Clark Hall Fishbowl rooms. For more information on the support days, email firstname.lastname@example.org or for a full list of events at CSU campuses statewide, visit www.csuhiep.com/enroll/.
Anji Buckner, a health science professor in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, has been working closely with the state coordinators on the CSU HIEP project and oversees the student coordinators on campus. At SJSU, there are two student coordinators this semester who are working to decrease the number of students on campus who are still uninsured, which they estimate at 10 percent (not including new transfer students.)
Covered California is the state’s implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act that has expanded Medicaid to more low-income families, including adults without children. Covered California also includes a healthcare exchange for those who have incomes above the threshold for Medi-Cal (the state’s implementation of Medicaid) that provides financial assistance to cover the cost of premiums based on income and family size. In 2014, part of the ACA that went into effect requires all U.S. citizens to have some form of health insurance.
The CSU Health Insurance Education Project was started in 2013 to assist CSU students in learning about the new insurance options, with funding from a grant from Covered California. Last year, the program was anticipated to reduce the number of uninsured students on the 15 largest CSU campuses by 60 percent. In Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, CSU HIEP coordinators hosted informational sessions on campus, visited classrooms to talk directly with students and offered enrollment assistance during the open enrollment period.
A spring 2014 poll of seven of the campuses that had CSU HIEP student coordinators on campus found that a third of students on the campus reported that they had signed up for some type of health insurance, either through Covered California or Medi-Cal. Another third reported that at least one family member had signed up for health insurance. The poll found the number one reason students cited for not having insurance was that it was not affordable, but the poll also found that some students remained uninsured because “they did not know enough about insurance or how to get it.”
Get open enrollment assistance at SJSU: Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Clark Hall Fishbowl rooms. For more information on the support days, email email@example.com or for a full list of events at CSU campuses statewide, visit www.csuhiep.com/enroll/.