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PPOs Dominate in Risk Strategies’ National Health

BOSTON, Dec 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – An increased focus on mental health, the expansion of telehealth and the need for greater value are among its main findings. National annual normative survey of student health. conducted by Student Health Department of Higher Education Practice Risk StrategiesIndependently developed and analyzed survey results that track national standards on an annual basis will establish college and university health plan features and emerging trends.

Marking its first year, the survey was conducted with 83 public and private colleges and universities nationwide, representing all regions of the country with institutions ranging in size from 2,500 to more than 20,000 students.

Additional key findings include:

  • Academic institutions want the plans to be accessible to all students. Per-student health plans stay more affordable than similar group plans. Costs average between $2,000 and $2,900 per year with subscriptions and discounts less than most standard group plans. About 25% of plans did not raise costs in 2021. The increase in health insurance costs was 5% based on the calculated average.
  • Mental health services are critical, especially as the coronavirus continues to spread. Almost all plans (97%) covered behavioral health as part of a student health insurance plan. Most do not co-pay (42%) or co-pay $25 to $35 (35%) for doctor visits.
  • Telehealth has grown during the novel coronavirus outbreak and will continue to be a major feature. Almost all health plans (95%) include telemedicine visits.
  • Comfort is key for students. Most schools (87%) that report having a student health center on campus, and the majority (87%) are open three to five days a week. They provide a wide range of services, with nurse visits most common (94%) and primary care (90%).
  • There is a commitment to good dental health and eyesight. Three out of five (60%) schools offer a dental plan, and most (84%) are voluntary. Similarly, three out of five (59%) schools offer a vision plan, and four out of five (80%) are voluntary.
  • Cost and value pertain to plan administrators. In planning for 2022, the two components most commonly cited as high priority for school administrators were managing student health costs (74%) and improving plan value (60%).

“Higher education is an important investment for students and their parents,” said Terry Lyons, Higher Education Practice Leader in Risk Strategies. “Health insurance provides valuable protection and ensures students have affordable access to all care needed in the current college environment.”

Participation in school-sponsored plans varies
Small schools, with an average GPA of 1,250, have the highest percentage of students enrolled in a college or university-sponsored plan (40%). For middle to larger schools, enrollment is between 17% – 25%.

The prevalent health plan enrollment process for eligible students in all sectors is waiver/withdrawal. The waiver shows that the student has insurance through another source (for example, parental insurance). For part-time students and online learning, waiver/withdrawal is the registration process for at least half of the eligible.

All schools (100%) with less than 2,500 students and 95% of schools in the Northeast use the Waiver/Obligation to Enrollment system for their undergraduate students.

Insights will help provide better health insurance programs for students
Under the Affordable Care Act, students can stay on Parental insurance up to the age of 26. However, for many, getting coverages through their school provides more targeting and Cost effective option. Mental health, physical therapy (for musculoskeletal injuries) and sexual health services are of interest to college students and are often not tailored to their unique needs within traditional health insurance programs.

“Knowing the needs of students in the post-pandemic market is vital to the nation 4000 colleges and universities as well as 19 million students “They serve,” noted Terry Lyons, general manager of Risk Strategies for Student Health Practice. “The goal of our benchmark survey is to provide academic institutions with the insights needed to prepare students for long-term success by protecting their physical, mental and financial health.”

Additional information on the survey and key findings here.

About risk strategies

Risk Strategies is a national insurance brokerage and risk management firm that provides comprehensive risk management, insurance and reinsurance advice for property and loss, employee benefits, and client specific risks. With 25 specialist practices, Risk Strategies serves commercial companies, non-profit organizations, public bodies and individuals, and has access to all major insurance markets. Ranked among the top brokers in the country, Risk Strategies has more than 100 offices including Boston, New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Grand Cayman, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Riskstrategies.com

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