When psychology graduate student Melissa Hunt agreed to help her parents move last summer, she thought all she was getting herself into was a day filled with lifting boxes. She did not know she would end up with a four-day hospital stay and bill for over $15,000, all the result of a freak accident that left her with a broken leg and an empty pocketbook. Like most University graduate students, Hunt was covered by the University health insurance policy that is selected by Student Health. The policy provides 80 percent coverage for graduate students, who pay a student health fee of $145, premiums of $700 for medical and $48 for dental, and 20 percent of whatever health care expenses they incur. Hunt's $15,000 bill meant she had to come up with $3000 -- about one-third of her yearly $9000 stipend. Graduate students say that cases like these have led them to meet with Student Health Service to voice concerns over insurance. In a meeting yesterday with MarJeanne Collins, the service's director, they requested that an eye care plan be added to their current coverage, that they be given a greater choice in selecting a plan, and that a University-wide policy include a cap on the amount graduate students have to pay for basic care. Lynne Snyder, who heads the Graduate Student Associations Council Health and Health Insurance Subcommittee, called the meeting productive but said the students were not given any guarantees. "It was a good meeting," she said. "I felt that [Student Health] was receptive." Collins could not be reached for comment. "If you're treated anywhere else in the city and certainly if you're treated out of state, you have to pay the $3000," said Hunt, who received care in Boston. "There is no maximum out-of pocket-clause. If I had been in a car accident and needed out-patient services for the rest of my life, I would have been bankrupted."Comments powered by Disqus
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