Did You Know? North Carolina Students Pay For Health Services Twice

All students enrolled in UNC system institutions are required to have health insurance coverage. They also pay a Health Services Fee to their university.

According to Blue Cross Blue Shield,

The UNC System endorses a cost-effective Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) that covers additional health care expenses not included in the Student Health Fee. This plan is administered by Blue Cross NC. Each semester the Student Health Insurance Premium is added to all eligible students’ University accounts.

The premium for the 2020-2021 academic year was $1,308.40 per semester. Students also pay a Health Services Fee, which varies considerably by campus. The finance committee of the UNC Board of Governors approved the fee increase, and it’s likely that the UNC Board of Governors will approve requested increases today:

In 2014, the Martin Center observed that students, in some cases, are charged twice for the same services:

Indeed, some services—like primary care and women’s health visits at some schools—appear to be paid for twice. For example, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Campus Health Services website reports that students’ annual fees support “unlimited provider visits in the Primary Care Clinics,” while a list of Student Blue benefits includes “100% coverage for Preventive care at Student Health Center and in-network providers.”

Students deserve to know exactly what they’re paying for. The UNC Board of Governors should do a thorough analysis of all health center receipts and spending before next year’s fees are considered.

Jenna A. Robinson is president of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.