Sarah Lawrence College
STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM
Spring Term 2016
(New Students Only)
Waiver Deadline Date: JANUARY 15, 2017
Dear Students and Parents:
Sarah Lawrence College is committed to promoting good health and meeting the medical needs of its students. A health insurance plan is critical in providing peace of mind, knowing that students can receive the services they need in the event of a sickness or injury.
The College requires all students to carry adequate health insurance to help cover the extra expenses of medical treatment that is not covered by our Health & Wellness Center. The Spring Term Student Health Insurance Plan provides coverage to students for the period of January 1, 2017 through August 14, 2017. The Plan includes a local and national network of Preferred Providers, and is designed to be an affordable option. I urge you to enroll in this Plan for several reasons.
Important Changes to the 2016/17 Student Health Insurance Plan:
- The insurance carrier is changing from Nationwide Life Insurance Company to American International Group (AIG).
- Effective 08/15/16, the Prescription Drug Network included with the Sarah Lawrence College Student Health Plan will be switching to Cigna PBM. If having a prescription filled on 08/15/16 or after, please make sure you present your new insurance ID Card at that time.
- The PPO Network is switching Cigna. Students will have access to an expanded network of Preferred Providers through Cigna. Always go to the on-campus Health and Wellness Center when possible to receive a referral in order to receive the maximum benefits payable by your Student Health Insurance Plan.
Although many families have some form of health insurance, it's important to ensure that students are adequately covered while attending school. All too often situations arise where a student requires medical or mental health care beyond what is available at the SLC Health & Wellness Center, only to discover that their health insurance covers them only in the event of an emergency or in their home geographic region. This frequently results in students having to take an otherwise unnecessary leave of absence from college to return home in order to get the treatment they need. In other situations, the student’s health insurance plan may provide coverage in New York, but the list of providers they must choose from is extremely limited and often are not close to campus, making access a significant problem. SLC Health & Wellness Center staff members are rarely familiar with these providers and therefore cannot assist the student with any recommendations. Further, coverage that is provided is often insufficient in meeting the student’s need. The result is an added out of pocket expense for parents who must pay privately for adequate care.
International Students: If you have comparable coverage from a domestic health insurance company with claims paid in the United States, you are eligible to waive the mandatory Student Health Insurance Plan, and have the health insurance charge removed from your student account. Non U.S. Based Insurance companies or coverage provided in countries with socialized medicine, including Canada is NOT considered comparable coverage, and you are required to enroll in the Sarah Lawrence College Student Health Insurance Plan.
To assist you in making an informed decision regarding your student’s health insurance needs, here are some general questions to ask your current health plan to ensure that it provides adequate coverage:
- Does your current health plan provide coverage while in the area of the Sarah Lawrence campus? Many HMO plans provide coverage for Emergency Treatment only, while out-of-area of the local HMO.
- Does your current health plan cover mental health services? Many employer-sponsored plans provide very limited coverage for mental health services.
- Does your current health plan provide coverage anywhere in the world, including medical evacuation and repatriation benefits, while the student is away from campus for academics, research, work, or vacation? Many employer-sponsored plans will only provide coverage while in the United States, and most do not include any medical evacuation or repatriation benefits.
- Does your current health plan include a nationwide network of Preferred Providers, guaranteeing acceptance of your health insurance plan, and reducing the student’s out-of-pocket expenses? Many employer-sponsored plans are managed-care type plans, with a regionally based preferred provider network.
- Does your current health plan include Prescription Drug coverage, and a nationwide network of member pharmacies? Many employer sponsored plans do not provide prescription drug coverage, or only very limited benefits available at certain local pharmacies.
- Does your current health plan include coverage for Intercollegiate Sports? It is standard practice for employer-sponsored health plans to exclude coverage for all Intercollegiate Sports related injuries.
While the majority of students' health issues can be met by The Health & Wellness Center, there are times when outside specialists or additional consultation is warranted. At such times, the Student Health Insurance Plan sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College, provides coverage worldwide and allows students to seek care from any licensed provider, once the referral from Sarah Lawrence Health & Wellness Center is made. Students also have access to a nationwide Preferred Provider Network, as well as a national network of member pharmacies.
When students use a preferred provider, their out-of-pocket expenses can be limited as students’ coinsurance expenses are based on negotiated Preferred Provider fees. The Plan provides coverage for expenses relating to injury or sickness including diagnostic testing, lab and x-ray services, doctor visits, and prescription drugs.
New students for the Spring 2017 Term who determine that they have existing comparable coverage will need to complete and submit the online Waiver Form by January 15, 2017. It is your responsibility to carefully compare your current health insurance plan with that offered by SLC to ensure that the coverage is truly comparable. By completing the online waiver form, you are attesting to the fact that you are familiar with both plans and will be responsible for providing for your student’s medical and/or mental health needs should your own health insurance prove insufficient. If you do not have comparable health insurance, or do not complete the online Waiver Form by January 15, 2017, you will be required to purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan, and will automatically be enrolled.
We encourage you to read the information provided and take the time to make an informed decision regarding your health coverage. If you have questions regarding the Student Health Insurance Plan, please contact University Health Plans, Inc. at 1-800-437-6448.
Mary Hartnett R.N.
Director of Medical Services
Sarah Lawrence College Health & Wellness Center