New student health plan lowers costs, expands coverage

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New student health plan lowers costs, expands coverage

For the first time, the University of Nebraska is implementing a university-wide student health plan that will lower premiums and expand coverages for students.

The university campuses worked together to ask health plan providers to propose health and dental coverages that would be more cost-effective and more responsive to the needs of all NU students. The result was a plan called StudentBlue, offered by BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska. It was rolled out at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in May and will take effect at UNL, University of Nebraska at Kearney and University of Nebraska at Omaha in August. The plan was selected by a universitywide committee that included risk managers and student health representatives from across the four campuses.

Under StudentBlue, annual premiums will be $1,656, for health and dental coverage. For most students at UNL, UNO and UNK, this represents a savings of $100 to $200 per year for the health portion of the policy compared to the previous year. Health premiums remain unchanged at UNMC.

The premium represents an increase for international students – but StudentBlue offers better coverage. Previous student policies did not include dental coverage, and StudentBlue requires less out-of-pocket expenses and offers more comprehensive services with a broader network of providers.

Prices also will be substantially reduced for students over 26, who paid a much higher premium under some prior campus plans.

Additionally, under StudentBlue, students now will be able to add spouses, partners and children to their plans – options that were previously either unavailable or $2,000 or $4,000 higher per year. With a universitywide plan, coverage also will now be uninterrupted for students who transfer between NU campuses.

“With all the financial demands on students and their families, anytime you can create savings or perhaps put coverage within reach, that is very gratifying,” said David Lechner, NU senior vice president for business and finance. “StudentBlue is a win for the students and when they succeed, so do we.”

Additional information is available at the StudentBlue website.

UNL students and employees with questions can contact the University Health Center.

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