Graduate Student Senate: University moves forward with health care changes

Health care for Ohio University will receive some updates for the upcoming academic year.

Graduate Student Senate received a visit from Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi with an update to the health  care provisions they submitted last quarter, many of which are being put into motion.

OU recently renewed its health care contract with United Healthcare for an additional school year.

Lombardi talked about the 3.5 percent increase in health care premium rates for next year, the availability of gynecologist visits, influenza shots and Sexually Transmitted Infection testing for men.

“I’m very pleased with this because of the 13 percent increase last year — that hurt quite a bit,” he said. “This rate increase also ... comes with some additional coverage as well.”

Lombardi also noted that the university has set up a waiver for international students who have some form of health care insurance.

“There was resolution that we create a waiver for an insurance plan should they have an American provider,” he said. “We are looking to put that into place for next year — it will be a very positive change for some of our international students who do have access to an American provider.”

The waivers would be verified by Wells Fargo Insurance and would not add to the premium OU already pays to the insurance company.

“This is, contrary to what may have been in some public forms, a very complicated issue,” Lombardi said. “So what will happen is that we will have a hard waiver that requires a minimum amount of insurance for international students to be able to be exempt.”

There would also be an enhanced dental plan that would be offered to graduate students, Lombardi said, adding that it would be optional.

“We were hoping to have a separate, less expensive option than the one currently being offered by United Healthcare,” said Tracy Kelly, Graduate Student Senate president, adding that the current one only offers dental insurance if the students plan on going through a series of expense cleanings before they are deemed “applicable.”

In addition to the presentation, Graduate Student Senate passed two resolutions. The first called for the inclusion of graduate assistants in the 1.66 percent merit funding pool.

The second called for the continuation of all-black regalia for the Ohio University commencement ceremony.


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