Rider health insurance cost rises, but benefits to rise even more

By Jen Maldonado

Students who get their health insurance from Rider will pay more next fall, but the benefits will increase dramatically, as the nation’s healthcare laws continue to change.

The new policy, costing an annual premium of $925, is provided by Commercial Travelers Insurance/National Guardian Life Insurance. It will cover medical charges up to $500,000 and won’t be limited to a certain group of providers. The maximum a student would have to pay out of pocket is $5,000, according to an email from Dean of Students Anthony Campbell.

“The university undertook a competitive selection process to identify the insurance company that could provide the required coverage at the lowest price, as well as good service in processing claims,” Campbell said.

Since 1989, New Jersey has mandated that all full-time students attending institutions of higher education in the state must have health insurance. Students have the option to remain on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26, purchase their own health insurance independently or purchase insurance through the school they are attending.

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, Rider, along with other four-year universities, is now required to offer a plan that meets specific requirements such as the $500,000 coverage limit, coverage for pre-existing conditions and essential benefits including ambulatory patient services, hospitalization, mental health treatment, lab services and prescription drugs. Intramural and recreational sports injuries are also covered.

The health insurance plan for 2012-2013 cost covered only $400, but it had a cap of $25,000 and other limits that will no longer apply.

“We wanted a plan that would allow us to continue to use the primary care providers, specialists, and diagnostic facilities we have developed a relationship with,” said Lynn Eiding, director of Student Health Services. “We also needed a plan that would permit our students to access the hospitals that are convenient to both the Lawrenceville and Princeton campuses.”

Details are still being negotiated regarding the insurance for international students.
Students who are already on their parents’ health care plan or have their own plan through their place of employment can waive out of this new insurance policy.

“We feel that this is an excellent health insurance policy for our students.” Campbell said. “The plan offers a high degree of health insurance protection, an 80/20 payout with no deductibles and the added protection of a maximum out of pocket financial exposure.”
Additional reporting by Corinne Anderson

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