Costs and Coverage Archives – Academic HealthPlans
 

Gene Therapy and Large Claims Impact on Student Health Insurance

Costs and Coverage, Risk Management, Student Affairs, Student Health

By Kristen Devine, Senior Account Manager

Gene therapy is revolutionizing medical science and will impact student health insurance due to its high costs. This groundbreaking treatment method offers potential cures for chronic conditions like sickle cell disease and hemophilia. Yet, its large financial implications will drive up premiums and reshape insurance plans.

This shift presents both challenges and opportunities within the student health sector, as administrators must balance the costs with the substantial benefits of gene therapy. As it evolves, gene therapy’s high cost will influence the design and pricing of health coverage.

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Navigating Student Health Plans: Insights from Our Third National Student Benchmark Survey

Ancillary Coverages, Costs and Coverage, International Students, Risk Management, Student Health, Value-Added Benefits

by Elizabeth Marks, Senior Strategy Consultant

Good healthcare is connected to student success. Understanding student health plans helps insurers develop cost-saving strategies and support mental health needs. Analyzing trends and learning from student programs improves healthcare outcomes and enrollment rates, ensuring access for all students. In addition, creative solutions developed within student programs can serve as helpful inspiration for employee benefits teams.

With that, we’re pleased to present the findings of Risk Strategies’ Third National Student Benchmarking Survey, conducted between May and August 2023. The report features key findings around priorities and trends surrounding student health plans.

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Top Reasons for Issuing an RFP for Athletic Insurance Broker Services

Costs and Coverage, Risk Management, Student Health, Value-Added Benefits

by Jeff Struckle, Academic HealthPlans

Why should you issue an RFP for athletic insurance broker services instead of an RFP for athletic insurance?

The most important decision a college or university can make for its athletic accident insurance program is the selection of an insurance consultant/broker to advocate for their institution. The insurance consultant/broker provides expertise and valuable services to support the Institution’s overall athletic accident insurance program that may not be considered through a product-only RFP.

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Investing HEERF Grants into Mental Health Care

Costs and Coverage, Risk Management, Student Health

Colleges and universities across the country faced seismic enrollment declines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Total undergraduate enrollment declined 6.6% from Fall 2019 to Fall 2021, representing a loss of just over a million students. To help keep these colleges afloat, reverse enrollment losses, and ensure learning continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, $76.2 billion in federal stimulus funding was awarded through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Initially, funds were expected to cover the costs of student/campus housing, childcare, transportation, and on-campus food services. However, some institutions have found creative ways to spend their HEERF grants such as:

  • Technology Advancements
  • Fuel Assistance
  • Upgraded Facilities
  • Covid Mitigation Supplies
  • Financial Coaching
  • On-Campus Social Workers
  • Relieving Student Debt

Now, as demand for mental health resources among faculty, students, and staff soar, new guidance from the Education Department is urging colleges to address these needs by utilizing HEERF grants.

Addressing the mental health needs of students has long been a challenge for higher education institutions during the pandemic. According to a 2021 survey, an overwhelming 75% of college presidents indicated that mental health was a top concern on campuses. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at the University of California, Riverside (a model for mental health care) said “The pandemic has exposed students to trauma, from the loss of loved ones to financial hardships to social isolation and social disruptions,” and stated that students need a variety of mental health resources on campus including, but not limited to:

  • Telehealth
  • Therapy / Counseling
  • Financial Wellness
  • Substance Use Support
  • Suicide Prevention Training

The new guidance, and a webinar from the Education Department (in collaboration with the American Council on Education), outlines ways colleges and universities can invest in mental health resources and expand their mental health support systems with HEERF funds.

Risk Strategies Higher Education Practice offers a complimentary analysis of your institution’s mental health resources and budget to provide recommendations on solutions that will work best for your student body.

Contact your Account Executive or email [email protected] for more information.

 

How Does the ‘No Surprises Act’ Affect Students?

Costs and Coverage, Risk Management

by Elizabeth Marks, Senior Strategy Consultant

On December 27, 2020, the No Surprises Act (NSA) was signed into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This act addresses surprise medical billing at the federal level. The regulations generally apply to group health plans and health insurance issuers for plan and policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.   The regulations specifically note that Individual health insurance coverage includes coverage offered in the individual market, through or outside of an Exchange, and includes student health insurance coverage. The applicable provisions will go into effect on the 2022-23 plan renewal date.

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