Whitworth Health Services Plan FAQ
How does the new health services plan (or Whitworth Health Services Plan) differ from the previous Whitworth plan?
The previous student health insurance plan offered benefit coverage maximums of $10,000 for accidents and $10,000 for sickness. It did not cover any preventive healthcare visits. The replacement for this health insurance is called the Whitworth Health Services Plan. Because the university acquires this plan for all students, it is not insurance.
Unlike the previous insurance plan, the new plan will provide coverage for preventive healthcare such as flu vaccines and physical exams. For those who have a primary health-insurance plan, the new plan serves in a similar manner to help with costs not covered by the primary plan. For those who do not have a plan, it can function as the first source of dollars to assist with healthcare costs. This new plan is limited to $5,000 per illness and $20,000 total annual coverage.
Accident coverage continues through a separate plan that operates in the same way as insurance does. This plan is the same as in previous years.
I already have health insurance. Why do I have to pay for the HSP?
We strongly recommend that you continue existing health insurance or acquire it for catastrophic health incidents. This plan is required for all students because it is not an insurance plan. It is a health-services program that we have developed to support our students in the wake of rapidly rising limits and expense for healthcare insurance.
The new plan will supplement health insurance. It can be used to cover insurance deductibles and other eligible out-of-pocket costs. For example, if primary insurance does not cover the cost of a medication or a medically required vaccination, the new plan may provide assistance in meeting those costs. In addition, it can be used to assist with preventive care and dental costs. The plan also covers some of the Whitworth Health Center services that were previously charged to student accounts.
Can I waive this plan?
No. Waiving the plan is not an option. All United States resident undergraduate students will automatically be enrolled in both plans.
Am I required to have health insurance to participate in university programs or domestic travel?
Participants in university-sponsored programs such as intramurals, choir, service-learning and other student activities are expected to pay their own medical and emergency expenses. The Health Services Plan may provide limited coverage. Students will be required to acknowledge responsibility for their healthcare coverage costs when they make arrangements to pay semester registration charges through Whitworth Student Accounts.
I travel and participate in Whitworth-sponsored activities (for example, music, athletics, forensics). What requirements must I meet for health insurance?
Students involved in activities will be treated like all other students. They will be required to make provision for their healthcare requirements. A catastrophic insurance plan is highly recommended as minimal protection for each student. This coverage is a personal responsibility. Whitworth will require that each student acknowledge this responsibility upon enrollment.
Does the Health Services Plan assist when a student is overseas on an official Whitworth-sponsored program?
Whitworth provides foreign-travel insurance for students involved in official Whitworth University programs. The new Health Services Plan and the Accident Insurance Plan each provide secondary financial assistance for medical care if an illness or accident occurs during such a trip.
What does it cost, and what time period does the plan cover?
The plan costs $100 for the year and will be billed each semester ($50 per semester). It is a 12-month plan, designed for students enrolled for both fall and spring semesters. The plan begins Aug. 1. Its cost is higher than the amount being charged to students, but, given the many questions about the national law and its implementation, Whitworth determined that it would not add an additional fee. This option may be required in future years based upon our experience and upon the provider gaining and conveying additional clarity in its national policy.
How will I be reimbursed for medical costs covered by the plan?
When filing a claim for off-campus services, students must complete a claim-reporting form that will be sent to the claims administrator at the National Accident & Health General Agency (NAGHA), for review and payment. Claim forms and information on how to file a claim are available for download through the website at www.whitworth.edu/healthplan.
Where can I find private health insurance?
Students are strongly encouraged to purchase a primary medical plan with adequate coverage. Options for such coverage may be identified through a variety of resources or through your parent’s or guardian’s health insurance. Students seeking choices may consult this website for guidance: http://finder.healthcare.gov/.
Will the Whitworth Health and Counseling Center bill my private health insurance?
The health center does not bill private insurers directly. As in the past, the center will provide all paperwork for students to bill outside insurers. Since there is no charge for health center office visits, there is no need to present an insurance card to visit the Whitworth Health Center. Student identification will, however, be required.
What is the impact of the Supreme Court case upon this plan?
These changes are required by changes in the regulations Whitworth must follow under the current legal conditions. Like the rest of the nation, Whitworth has no way of knowing if the Supreme Court will change legislation affecting health insurance. For this reason, we are providing initial access to cost-effective care within financial limits and in the presence of uncertainties about how healthcare laws will change in the future. We will review the plan for the upcoming academic year based upon any changes that occur in governing regulations.
Are there charges to use the health center or the counseling center?
Visits to the health center, and up to six visits to the counseling center are provided through this plan. Both centers are designed to assist students with health and wellness while they are enrolled at Whitworth University. These services are short-term and focused. Students may be referred to off-campus healthcare providers for either counseling or medical services. For chronic or ongoing healthcare concerns, students are encouraged to continue care with their hometown providers or to establish care through a local provider.
Can I get a refund if I don’t use the plan?
No, this is a mandatory program for all undergraduate students. Staff at the health center will be glad to work with students who seek help in maximizing the benefits of the new plan.