A new requirement for the UNC system will hit many students where they may already be hurting, in their bank accounts.
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I am a student at UNCW and happen to be one without health insurance. The reason for my lack of coverage...cost. I am in good health and although I realize the importance of preventative care, I pay the costs out of pocket rather than paying costly health insurance premiums. I am 25 and married with 2 small children. I have paid my way through school and although I have had to rely on student loans because of the lack of financial aid (and scholarships) avaliable to someone that has already graduated with a Bachelor's degree, I am forced to accept the loans to pay for the steadily increasing tuition expenses. On top of that, we now, in the UNC school system are forced to purchase the school's health insurance or provide proof of our own. A notice sent out from UNCW stated the insurance would costs $673 for the academic year, begining August 1, 2010. I am an extension student. Extension students are based only online with no campus interaction. The majority of my classmates live in other states and even other countries; yet, we are still subject to the health insurance requirement.
The worst news is that those that can't afford the insurance from the school or other providers who are forced to buy the insurance often have no option but to charge the money to their student loans. What does that mean? In most cases, more debt to the federal government because the majority of student loans are federal loans. Great job UNC system! Force insurance on individuals and increase national debt. Way to go! We need the money in the federal system now...by the time it's paid off by the present college students, it will be an average of probably 10 years. Tuition is increased annually along with mandatory student fees and we just got slapped with another burden. By the way, even if we are forced to carry health insurance, that doesn't mean we are required to visit the doctor. I would say more than the money, it is the actual initiation of college-aged students to visit the doctor verses cost. So, what does it solve?