The end of the fall semester sees students across campus heading home for a much-needed break and a chance to gear up for the spring semester. As many people rush to finish off their holiday shopping, employers and the health insurance industry face a major rush of their own, namely, “Open Enrollment.” This is the time of year when group health insurance, whether employer-sponsored health plans or through the Exchange, permits changes in coverage. It’s also the time when new rates are announced for the coming year.
For Student Health Insurance at NIU, the end of the fall semester is marked by phone calls and questions from students about insurance waivers for spring.
“This fall has been a bit different. We are seeing quite a number of students who waived the Student Health Insurance in fall 2016, and who now want Student Health Insurance for spring 2017,” said Carole Drennan, Benefits Services supervisor for the Student Health Insurance office at NIU.
In essence, the Student Health Insurance is going through an “Open Enrollment” of its own.
Employer-sponsored health insurance, which is utilized by many college students through their parents’ coverage or on their own, could be faced with increased premium costs and penalties for 2017.
“Employees may see a very marginal rate increase but will have to ‘trade off’ to a smaller network of providers, plus face stiffer ‘out of network’ costs. Conversely, some employers may be faced with a rate increase and are passing that on entirely to their employees,” said Health Services’ Director Andrew Digate, M.B.A.
Students who declined student health insurance for the entire school year in the fall of 2016, may still get student health insurance for the spring 2017 semester. This is a quick and easy process which can be done online at www.niu.edu/shi or by calling 815-753-9575.