My health care is a costly luxury at Vanderbilt.
The school recently announced that its student health insurance plan will cost an extra $1,100 per year to enroll next year, an increase of $900 that was the most for any single plan in the country.
And the tuition and fees that students pay to attend Vandy each semester will go up an additional $1.10 per semester to pay for health insurance.
Vandy student health plans are no longer offered by private companies and are available to the public through the university.
But Vandy’s health care prices are skyrocketing.
“We were already having to go through a significant increase in tuition and a significant decrease in fees,” said David Tabor, director of health care for the university, who spoke to Business Insider.
“And it just became apparent that there wasn’t really an option for people to choose.”
The increase will affect students from out of state.
In the last few years, Vanderbilt has seen tuition rise by more than $8,000 per student, according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
And in 2018, the school saw its student-to-staff ratio fall by 3.3%, according to data provided by the university to Business Associate.
So what does that mean for the average student?
According to Tabor’s office, Vanderbilt’s student health costs are increasing because more people have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
That means students are paying more out of pocket for their care.
It also means the cost of providing health insurance at Vanderbilt is rising.
And for students who don’t qualify for a plan through the ACA, the new rates will have to be negotiated between the university and the insurance company.
That’s not a big problem, since the plan will cover a much larger percentage of a student’s total expenses than it did a year ago.
But if you have a family with children who aren’t enrolled in Vanderbilt’s health plan, it could make things more difficult.
“I don’t think it’s a problem for students, but it’s certainly a concern for parents,” said Dr. Michelle Niles, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt who specializes in adolescent health.
“For parents who want to help their children be healthy and stay healthy, the cost is going up.”
There’s a good reason for that.
The Affordable Care (ACA) is a massive federal overhaul of the health care system.
The plan has changed the way Americans pay for everything from medical treatments to prescriptions, and it’s set to expand coverage for millions more Americans.
For those who are in states that have opted out of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, their health insurance will no longer be considered a health insurance option.
Instead, it will be considered an “insurance benefit” under the law.
So, while the ACA does not apply to most students enrolled at Vanderbilt, the university can still be impacted by higher costs.
So can parents.
When Vanderbilt students are able to get insurance through an employer, they’ll be eligible for the ACA subsidy.
That includes students who are enrolled in an employer-sponsored plan.
But because the ACA includes a number of exemptions, employers can choose to not participate in the subsidies.
Some employers choose not to participate entirely, and they won’t receive the same amount of subsidy as other employers.
And that’s a big reason why students who attend Vanderbilt will see more out-of-pocket costs.
If you live in Tennessee, for example, you can choose between an employer plan that pays for your insurance directly through your employer or through a public plan, which covers all your health insurance costs.
But many employers don’t have an option to get that insurance through their own plan, and the ACA makes it harder for students to enroll in private insurance.
“If I have a student who has a spouse who is enrolled in a private insurance plan and has a child who is also enrolled in the same private plan, I can’t afford to cover that child’s child and pay that child,” said Tabor.
“That child is not covered.”
The health care premiums on the new Vanderbilt plans are going to be a little more expensive than they were a year and a half ago.
While the average increase in Vanderbilt student health premiums will only be $200, that increase could be larger for students with children.
If a parent has a dependent child who doesn’t qualify, that child will also be impacted, because the new insurance plan won’t cover them.
And if that child is enrolled on an employer’s insurance plan, the premiums for that child could go up even more.
And, in Tennessee and a number, the ACA doesn’t apply to non-union employers.
If that means your employer is still in the ACA market, you won’t be eligible to get subsidies on those plans, but your children can still get subsidies through the state-run exchange.