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The AHP blog features the latest updates and best practices in student health.


Protecting Against Rising Athletic Insurance Premiums

Ancillary Coverages, International Students, Risk Management

A Foundational Approach

by Jeff Struckle, Specialty Insurance Solutions, Inc.

It is intriguing to watch the security measures put in place for large sporting events. Metal detectors,  bag checks, security personnel, and police officers are on-site to protect athletes, staff, and fans. While nothing can be 100% safe, the more measures put in place, the more things are protected.

Though not on the same scale, protecting an Athletic Accident Insurance plan is similar. The more layers of protection applied to insulate claims, the greater the likelihood expenses will be reduced. The in-house care provided by athletic trainers and the utilization of a student athlete’s primary health insurance plan are important risk management components. They serve as the foundation for protecting and reducing medical expenses on Athletic Accident Insurance plans. However, even with these in place, there is still significant exposure.

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Student COVID-19 Vaccine Cards

Risk Management, Student Health

All adults in the United States are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. With vaccine distribution reaching the general public, a growing proportion of students are now vaccinated. In turn, those vaccinated students should have received a vaccine card.

It’s worthwhile for schools to understand what COVID-19 vaccine cards are and what uses they may have. This article provides an overview of COVID-19 vaccine cards and considerations for supporting students that have COVID-19 vaccine cards.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Among College Students

Risk Management, Student Health

Colleges and universities play a critical role in helping promote and provide accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines. Students getting vaccinated can be a driving force for a safe return to campus.

As schools navigate the legal risks and logistics of return-to-campus plans and student vaccinations, this article explores considerations for increasing student vaccine acceptance.

Building Student Confidence

It is not unusual for colleges to require certain vaccinations. This was true even before the COVID-19 pandemic.  Now, many schools will require students to get vaccinated for COVID-19 when they return in the Fall. Those that are not requiring it are strongly encouraging students to receive the vaccine. Some students may be hesitant to get the vaccine or feel that they do not need it since they are young and healthy. Education and communication are critical for increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.

Here are some steps for increasing student confidence in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Communicate proactively, compassionately, and transparently to help build student buy-in and support of vaccination plans or general vaccination. Communications that lead with values, like unity or interconnectedness, are also effective because they can motivate students to act.
  • Educate students about COVID-19 vaccines—including development, efficacy, benefits, side effects, access, and coverage—and how they can talk to others about vaccines. Stick to the facts and avoid using jargon and strong language. To be most impactful, schools could leverage multiple organizational channels to reinforce vaccine messaging.
  • Listen to students’ concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. Two-way communication is especially important if some students are still studying working remotely.
  • Offer flexibility for students with signs and symptoms after vaccination, such as the opportunity to retake tests and assignments, if they are missed due to post-COVID vaccine symptoms.
  • Invite students to make their decisions to get vaccinated visible and celebrate them. Reinforce that students getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can accelerate the return of larger campus gatherings and study abroad opportunities.
  • Encourage students to be vaccine champions. Going one step further, schools could appoint, and train interested students to become vaccination ambassadors who share their personal stories and address any student concerns.
  • Discuss COVID-19 vaccines in school settings where students can ask questions and engage in respectful and open dialogues.
  • Ask faculty and staff who are respected in the student community to help build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccine acceptance will not happen overnight, so allow time for that confidence to build. Students who are hesitant at first may become more assured after their peers, family, and friends get vaccinated. Remember that schools continue to play a big role in helping students navigate the pandemic.


Risk Strategies Student Health Practice Launches First Annual Survey to Look at Student Health Insurance Trends

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

15-minute survey incorporates analytics, set to become industry standard for health insurance insights; will provide beneficial data on student plans, costs, and future trends

Grapevine, TX June 22, 2021 – To provide the knowledge and insights that will help improve products and services for colleges and universities, as well as the students they serve, Risk Strategies Student Health Practice is sponsoring its first Annual Nationwide Student Health Benchmarking Survey. The independently developed and analyzed survey findings will establish and track national benchmarks year-over-year on school plan features and emerging trends in health care.

The Risk Strategies Student Health Practice is comprised of Academic HealthPlans (AHP), University Health Plans (UHP), and Specialty Insurance Solutions (SIS). Together, they provide student health insurance consulting and administrative services to over 350 institutions of higher education nationwide and serve more than 450,000 students.

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The Benefits of Tuition Insurance Auto-Enrollment

Ancillary Coverages, Costs and Coverage, Risk Management

Tuition insurance is designed to protect students’ and their parents’ investment in higher education. This protection is needed because most school’s refund schedules provide no refunds after the first few weeks of an academic term.  Many students assume refunds are available throughout the academic term if a medical withdrawal becomes necessary, which is not usually the case.

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