Should College Students be Forced to Have Health Insurance? GVSU Weighs In

Friday, February 10, 2012

Grand Valley State University said keeping its student body healthy is paramount to its mission, but requiring that its students carry health insurance—a policy recently instituted by Michigan State University—isn’t an approach the college is ready to take.

For GVSU, the policy isn’t preferred because it would be a burden on cash-strapped students, and require increased manpower to monitor which students carry insurance and which don’t, said Mick Doxey, the university’s director of Risk Management.

“I would have to have a staff that would sit here and keep track of what insurance the students have and whether it’s still valid,” Doxey said.

Details emerged recently about MSU’s policy, which requires that all incoming students have health insurance. Those who don’t will be enrolled in a plan chosen by MSU, with the costs being added to the students’ tuition bill.

Last week, a Republican state lawmaker asked the House Subcommittee on Higher Educationto investigate the policy.

In a statement, state Rep. Kevin Cotter said: "Students and families are struggling enough as it is to keep up with the out of control costs of higher education. The new MSU mandate increases costs on students and families who must already find a way to pay for recent increases in tuition. Michigan's working families cannot bear an additional, unnecessary burden in this economy."

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