What About Health Insurance?
Health Insurance is not required to attend Sonoma State University or use the Student Health Center. Most visits to the Student Health Center for illness or injury during the regular school year and some in house lab tests are provided without charge to regularly enrolled students. Highly discounted user fees are charged for pharmaceuticals, some supplies, lab tests sent to the SHC reference lab, and summer services.
Although health insurance does not have a current role in the eligibility for or provisions of Student Health Center services, health insurance is required of International Students attending Sonoma State University and is strongly recommended for all SSU students to help cover the cost of potential off campus medical needs such as emergency room visits, hospitalization, ambulance transport, specialty care, complex diagnostic tests or other services that are beyond the scope or hours of operation of the Student Health Center.
Starting in January 2014, regular U.S. residents including domestic (U.S.) students will be required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to have health coverage or face federal penalties.
International Students should contact the SSU International Students Office 707-664-2582, and/or the International Students Office Health Insurance web page for information about insurance requirements and options for international students.
Domestic (U.S.) Students seeking insurance coverage to supplement SHC services, meet off-campus, after hours, specialty care or hospital care needs that are beyond the Scope of the Student Health Center and/or to comply with the Affordable Care Act insurance mandate, may consider the following options:
- May be eligible for coverage through a parent's or spouse's health insurance plan. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dependents may be covered on a parent's health insurance to age 26.
- May be eligible for health insurance through their employer.
- May wish to purchase an individual plan through a private insurance companies. See http://health.usnews.com/health-plans/national-insurance-companies.
- May wish to explore affordable insurance options through the new health insurance exchange program operating in each state under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Covered California is the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange program for this state. It is scheduled to become active in October 2013 and will allow individuals to find out if they qualify for financial assistance and compare and choose health coverage that best fits their needs and budget. The earliest start of actual coverage for those that sign up to an insurance exchange plan is January 2014.
- Visit the Covered California website at http://www.coveredca.com/ for details.
- By law, health coverage under the ACA cannot exclude those with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Financial assistance to purchase insurance will be available for qualifying low income individuals seeking coverage through Covered California.
- Qualifying low income individuals may be eligible for coverage through expanded Medicaid/Medi-cal. Visit http://www.medicaid.gov/ or http://www.medi-cal.ca.gov/default.asp
- May wish to explore a plan offered by a private insurance company that is directed at college student clientele. Information about this plan is available through the Associated Students Office and through the website CSU Health Link. CSU Health Link is not a CSU or SSU website and the domestic student plan has not been prepared in consultation with the California State University System, and is not administered by the CSU.
There is no mechanism for billing private insurance by SSU. The SSU user fees described above are due at the time of the service and must be paid in cash or by check. A receipt is provided at that time that individuals seeking insurance reimbursement by contacting their insurance company on their own.
To learn more about health coverage or get help with issues that concern you, go to the following government insurance websites:
- California: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0100-consumers/0060-information-guides/0050-health/NewHealthInsurance.cfm
- Federal: http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Health/HealthInsurance.shtml