Samantha Arriola and Edith Emeralda / Contributing Writers
It isn’t uncommon to come across a college student without health insurance these days. Business major Sabrina Santellan is one in nearly five million college students who are uninsured. Santellan was on her dad’s insurance policy for over twenty years, until she was kicked off recently because she wasn’t his biological daughter.
“He might not my biological father, but he raised me from when I was three. He and my mom divorced when I was 18, and I stayed living with him,” She said.
Santellan’s health insurance covered her prescriptions for birth control and Adderall for her ADHD. Now, without health insurance, she doesn’t have access to either of them.
Earlier this semester Santellan became sick on the day she had a test.
“I didn’t go to the doctor, because I couldn’t afford to,” she said. “I retook the test but it was twenty points off because I didn’t have a doctor’s note.”
Many students don’t realize that more and more college campuses are beginning to offer some sort of coverage. International students at UNT are automatically enrolled in a healthcare policy through Aetna. Domestic students can apply through the Aetna website by selecting UNT as their campus.
Students get the most out of the insurance plan if they go to the Student Health and Wellness Center, said Dana Sachs, Director of Administration of the Student Health and Wellness Center.
“We want to keep costs as low as possible for students,” says Sachs, “they do accept credit cards, so that’s an option that can help student’s break the costs down on their own.”
Abdul Alyahya, a first year student in the Intensive English Language Institute, was unaware that, as an international student, health insurance was already included in his tuition. He thought he was uninsured. Alyahya suggests the Student Health and Wellness Center use signs or email to increase awareness among students about health insurance.
Santellan notes both money and awareness as issues.
“A lot of college students don’t work full-time, if at all,” said Santellan, who used to work at a staffing agency. “There are so many options when it comes to health insurance. Maybe they should do seminars so students know more about it.”