CSG releases statement addressing UHS new STI policy
The executive branch of the University of Michigan’s Central Student Government released a statement Thursday morning in response to the change in the University Health System insurance policy. UHS will now bill student's person health insurance plans for services such as laboratory testing, x-rays and sexually transmitted infection testing.
The costs for these services, which were previously covered by student tuition, could leave students without insurance paying for these services in full.
The policy is controversial, even among students with insurance coverage. Many students are covered under their parents’ insurance. The move to charge personal insurance, especially for STI testing, is a privacy concern for many students, as parents can see their children’s medical services via the insurance bill. Students worry about the possible repercussions of parents knowing their UHS testing and treatments. While students will have the option to refuse this billing of personal insurance, they would then be forced to pay the bill themselves.
CSG President and Public Policy junior, Ben Gerstein, and CSG Vice President and LSA senior, Isabelle Blanchard, released a statement addressing student concerns on this issue.
“UHS’s new procedure creates a barrier for students to get STI tests, and forces many into a choice between their finances, privacy, and personal health and wellness,” the statement said.
CSG said they will be scheduling a meeting with Dr. Robert Ernst, executive director of UHS, to discuss the matter and express their concerns. In a previous interview with The Daily, Ernst said more than half of all UHS laboratory testing was STI testing, which accounted for about $300,000 annually.
CSG will be sending out a campus wide survey to gauge student responses to the new policy. In addition, CSG will be hosting an in-person discussion for students on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in North Quad.
“Students do not simply deserve to be listened to, they deserve to be heard and to see action,” the statement said.