The University of Florida Board of Trustees voted Friday morning to approve a plan requiring students accepted for the fall 2014 semester and later show proof of health insurance for enrollment.
Implementation of this plan will place UF among dozens of universities in the country with similar mandates. Students who enter UF before fall 2014 will be grandfathered into current requirements, which do not include health insurance.
Vice President of Student Affairs Dave Kratzer said the requirement won’t affect insured students, but will help those who are not insured.
Kratzer said many students have complicated family circumstances that are keeping them uninsured, and part of the university mandate will include helping students find or purchase insurance from a private entity or through the school in their financial aid package.
Students with insurance will give that information to the university when they apply.
“It should be a win-win for everybody,” Kratzer said.
Life on campus could run more smoothly if all students are insured, he said. The counseling and wellness center could make more referrals to mental health professionals in the community, which could free up their own resources for students in need of more immediate and short-term care.
Insurance coverage could help previously uninsured students get medicine and treatment they may not have been able to afford, Kratzer said.
“We’re very excited about the idea and the opportunity to do this,” he said.
The mandate will begin in 2014 to give the university enough time to advertise the program and prepare for the change.
The Affordable Care Act, which is aimed at decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and reducing the overall costs of health care, takes effect for all Americans in 2014.
Kratzer said the act had some impact on UF’s plan, but there are students who will remain uninsured under the Affordable Care Act. UF’s plan will take care of those students.
“We hope that this will help our students be able to provide the health care that they need,” he said.
Previous coverage: UF Board of Trustees to vote on student health insurance proposal
Audreyanna Loguerre wrote this story online.