Earlier this semester, students received a warning email stating that the Student Health Plan meets the BYU-Idaho’s requirements to have health insurance but effective September 14, the Student Health Plan will not meet Affordable Care Act requirements for minimum essential coverage.
“The email was sent out to help people start thinking about what options they would have going into the next year,” said Shaun Orr, Student Health Center Director at BYU-I.
Those who are above the poverty line, while on the Student Health Plan, could incur a tax penalty if they do not seek adequate coverage or an ACA approved exchange plan. Students who will be graduating and who are currently under the university’s health care plan will also have to seek new options for health care to meet ACA standards.
Students who are currently on the university’s health care plan, who are below the poverty line will not have to seek other options.
“There will be a select few that exceed that poverty line,” Orr said. “They would need to make sure that they either, one, talking to a tax professional, or if they are doing that themselves to make sure that they choose wisely.”
Curtis Simmons, a Certified Public Accountant in Rexburg, said that the figures for the poverty line changes each year.
They go up every year incrementally by a few percentage points, according to Simmons. For 2015, if someone is single, they can make under $11,770 before they cross that poverty level line.
“If you are married and you have a family size of two, so that could be either your married, you’ve got a husband and a wife, or if you’re a single parent, and you have a child, that total is $15, 930,” Simmons said.
Since the enrollment period for health insurance on healthcare.gov ended in February, students needing to seek new insurance may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
International students attending BYU-I with valid visas are not required to meet the federal mandate for health insurance. They are still required, however, to meet the university’s standard for health coverage, of which the Student Health Plan is adequate.
“We require all students that come here to BYU-Idaho to have adequate coverage, so the health plan works well for an international student,” Orr said.
The Student Health Plan will not be going out of commission, nor do students need two policies. Students only need one policy that meets both requirements for the ACA and BYU-I.