The Council of the Chancellors has supported the recommendations made by the UC Student Insurance Program (SHIP) Advisory Council in making the decisions regarding whether each campus will opt out or stay in the systemwide health care plan.
UC Riverside is one of five campuses—including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara—to partially opt out of the health care plan. UC Berkeley is the only campus to completely abandon UC SHIP. UCR has withdrawn from the medical portion of the plan, but it is the only campus to keep graduate students solely under the UC SHIP dental and vision plan.
According to the UC Office of the President, 58,000 students will remain on the program. UCR Director of Media Relations Kris Lovekin explained, “The premiums for campuses that have stayed with UC SHIP may go up slightly because there are fewer people in the pool now.”
While the cost of premiums has not yet been confirmed, Lovekin stated, “The move will keep insurance more affordable for our students, and we anticipate that the premiums will be lower for our students than they would have been under UC SHIP.” Campuses that have opted out will seek coverage from new health insurance agencies.
On May 1, the UC Board of Regents approved excluding the $57 million deficit from affecting student premiums.
The Council of the Chancellors also supported the eradication of a pharmaceutical cap and lifetime maximum, which already falls under the Affordable Care Act. Premiums will also be based on the total cost of the individual plans on each campus. The switch out of UC SHIP will be effective at the start of the fall quarter on Sept. 23.
“These added benefits will provide students with enhanced access to care and less financial risk,” said Lori Taylor, the University of California system’s newly-named director of self-funded health plans. “The University of California remains committed to providing quality health care insurance to its students, offering strong benefits at an affordable price in a plan that is sustainable now and in the future.”