The latest increase in the cost of Cardinal Care — and the University’s refusal to delay a waiver deadline that would preclude students from using California’s new health insurance exchange to find cheaper insurance — was met with discontent among graduate and international students while also prompting efforts on their part to mitigate the burden.
To share information about this fluid and ambiguous situation, we have posted some Q&A’s on the Vaden Health Center website at http://vaden.stanford.edu, including more about ACA and Cardinal Care, the university-sponsored student health insurance plan.
Because the University’s Sept. 15 deadline for waiving Cardinal Care coverage requires students to opt out before Healthcare.gov allows us to shop around for alternative providers, Stanford students will have little to no choice but to accept Cardinal Care, and no opportunity to use PPACA to choose the best coverage plan for their individual needs. This means higher costs, higher deductibles and copays, and less choice.
One million additional young adults have health insurance coverage compared to a year ago as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reported on Sept. 21. The act has had little impact on health insurance coverage rates and choices at Stanford so far, though Cardinal Care may become more expensive in future years.
Under the revised policy, international students will be obligated to purchase Cardinal Care — the University’s $3,000 annual healthcare package — in 12-month increments. Currently, Stanford’s insurance policy has an “opt out” mechanism that allows students to forego Cardinal Care if they provide proof that they have adequate insurance coverage from another source, such as parents, a spouse or another insurance provider.