Student health coverage encouraged by university, private insurance providers


Juan Diaz

According to Agile Health Insurance, more than 70% of college students and recent graduates reported having difficulty finding affordable insurance coverage. St. Edward’s students can visit the HCC for questions about health insurance.

A study by Lookout Mountain Group found that the number of uninsured college students has dropped from approximately four million in 2010 to 1.6 million in 2016, according to Inside Higher Ed. Despite this, college students still remain the largest group of uninsured Americans.

At St. Edward’s, students are required to enroll in the university health insurance if they are uninsured. This means that they must sign up for insurance through the school’s provider Academic HealthPlans (AHP). If they are already insured, students can opt-out of the university’s health insurance through the MyHilltop website.

According to the St. Edward’s website, students must be taking six or more credit hours to qualify to enroll in the university health insurance. Students who enroll in this insurance will be billed through student tuition through Student Financial Services.

For international students, “St. Edward’s recommends that all international students, accompanying spouse and dependents have $50,000 coverage, repatriation and medical evacuation benefits.”

According to the AHP website, the company was founded to “provide affordable and comprehensive health benefits to students supported by industry-leading administrative services.”

AHP provides insurance by partnering with health insurance companies such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, National Guardian Life and UnitedHealthcare. They also provide insurance plans for international students.

AHPs services include:

  • AHP Choice, which gives many options to students looking to tailor a health insurance plan to their own needs
  • Alternative International-Only Plans, which benefit international students, specifically at small universities like St. Edward’s. This plan gives international students a low-cost option and includes optional benefits such as mental health, sports injury and maternity coverage.
  • Edusure is “coverage for domestic students at schools that only offer an international plan and for domestic and international students at schools that do not offer a school-sponsored plan or where the student does not meet the school-sponsored plan eligibility requirements.”

According to AHP, “on-campus accidents have a lot of campuses piling up millions of dollars in debt due in part to liability lawsuits.” AHP said that, contrary to popular belief, students who enroll in their own insurance can receive benefits such as lower costs because they are paying for insurance on their own.

For students who do not enroll in the university health insurance, they can use health insurance provided by their family or their employer as long as they are able to utilize it in the Austin area.

Emily Persons is a junior French and Spanish major who said she uses services both at the HCC and at off-campus facilities.

“I have utilized HCC in the past when I was sick with strep throat,” Persons said. “But I also have the liberty to go home because it is only an hour and a half drive. When I’m sick, I usually go to Urgent Care but I also have a doctor that I go to for checkups.”

“I have always had a good experience at the HCC. They were really nice and accommodating and I felt that they knew what they were doing. I personally don’t know of anyone else’s experience there, but I had a positive experience and have no hesitation or reservations on utilizing their services again,” she said.