UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
If students are currently covered by health insurance, they should check with the carrier to see what arrangements need to be made so coverage continues while at college. All students should carry health insurance cards with them. Participation in the University of Wisconsin System Student Health Insurance Plan (see below) is required for international students.
From UW-River Falls Risk Management web page: "UWRF does not provide any type of compensation for injuries that occur on campus. Each student and visitor is expected to have their own health insurance to cover personal medical costs."
For 2015/2016, there will no longer be a plan available through University of Wisconsin System for domestic students to purchase. Please see Information on the Affordable Care Act below.
Information on the 2015/2016 annual insurance plan for UWRF international students (including information about the provider network) is available at www.sas-mn.com and under "College" click on "Find My School" or call 651-439-7098. Information on the 2014/2015 annual insurance plan for UWRF students (including information about the provider network) is available at www.sas-mn.com and under "College" click on "Find My School" or call 651-439-7098.
For the University of Wisconsin plan, to find a PPO provider:
The Health Insurance Marketplace launched on October 1, 2013 as part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Students may wish to consider health insurance options available due to the ACA, a federal law passed in March 2010 which phases in over several years.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way for individuals and families who meet certain income requirements to buy private health insurance plans. Four levels of plans are offered through the Marketplace. The plans vary from each other based on the amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses that are covered. For example, the lowest cost "bronze" plans only cover 60% of medical expenses, "silver" plans cover 70%, "gold" plans cover 80%, while the highest tier "platinum" plans cover 90% of medical expenses. Individuals may be eligible for a subsidy (depending on their income) that will reduce the cost of a Marketplace plan.
Information on the Affordable Care Act is available at http://www.healthcare.gov/ for more information and updates and to sign up for email or text updates.
One provision of this law that has already benefited many students allows dependent children (including students) to remain on their parents' insurance until their 26th birthday. Under the ACA dependent children can remain on a parents' plan even if they no longer live with their parents, are not a dependent on a parent's tax return, are no longer a student, or are married.
Starting January 1, 2014, the federal Affordable Care Act requires most individuals to have health insurance.
Do college students really need health insurance? If you do not have health insurance, you will want to shop for it, and there may be restrictions for when you can apply for coverage. Please see web pages below for more information about this. The law also provides new opportunities to acquire affordable health insurance. As an example, you may be eligible for coverage through the new online health insurance exchanges (also called the Health Insurance Marketplace). Exchanges can help you locate and compare plans, including coverage, benefits, premiums (purchase price), deductibles, and co-payment costs.
You may find that you qualify for a premium subsidy (assistance) that will reduce the cost of an exchange plan. In some cases you may also qualify for a cost-sharing subsidy that will lower your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Whether you are eligible for a subsidy depends on your income. To learn what coverage and the level of assistance that might be available to you, visit the healthcare.gov web page.
Start by making a list of things that will be important in your coverage decision, for example:
Know how your current health insurance plan (if any) works, whether it will continue, and when it will renew.
Know about your insurance coverage in a given area, since many health insurance plans provide more limited benefits when you are away from your home or "out-of-area."
When purchasing a health insurance plan, you should not consider premium cost alone. Plans with higher out-of-pocket expenses may have lower premiums, but a high deductible and high member coinsurance can make members reluctant or financially unable to receive necessary medical treatment.
Many benefits of the ACA may vary from state to state. Some states have opted for the federal government to run their exchanges (including Wisconsin), while other states are running their own (including Minnesota). Expansion of the Medicaid program also varies by state.
For More Information:
BadgerCare Plus State of Wisconsin health care plan: Including applying for Badger Care Core Health Care For Adults With No Dependent Children
MinnesotaCare: Minnesota residents who do not have access to affordable health insurance
Family Planning Only Services: Reproductive health services. View instructions for enrolling in this program.