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College Student's Right of Choice For Health Insurance

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We are the International Students from Peralta Colleges in California and are part of the community. We believe that it is unwarranted to have a mandatory Health Insurance without a realistic waiver. It should be up to us to choose to either say yes or no. 

大家好!我们是来自Peralta college的国际生。我们相信一个没有任何减免可能性的强制保险政策严重背离了全体国际生的意愿。我们应该拥有选择是否参与这一保险的权利!


What about health insurance today ?

As of now, international students are required to subscribe to any choice of health insurance in order to apply and enroll in classes at the Peralta Community College District. The International District Office checks for the validity of the health insurance only once, when applying for the first semester. Students are thus free to choose the health insurance that suits them the best.


Peralta collge要求所有学生必须拥有健康保险,才可以申请或者继续注册课程。Peralta district 工作人员会在所有学生入学前核查是否拥有健康保险。但是,我们始终拥有自由购买属于我们自己的健康保险的权利。

What about health insurance for Spring 2017 semester ?

All international students will be automatically enrolled in the Peralta International Student Health Insurance Plan. No matter whether or not they are already satisfied with their own.


从2017年一月一日起,全体学生将会被自动注册peralta international insurance plan, 但是非国际生拥有重新选择自身保险的权利。对于国际生而言,该保险政策将会被强制加入学费,这意味着当国际学生支付学费时,该保险的费用将会被一起支付,无法避免。

How much is it going to cost international students ?

The fee for Spring and Summer semesters will be $801.50. We still have no idea as to why there is no fee for Spring semester only.



What if international students refuse to pay the health insurance fee ?

The Health Insurance fee will be part of the tuition fee. If tuition fees are not paid before January 9th, 2016, international students will be dropped from their classes. They will then loose their F1 status since they're not enrolled in 12 units anymore.



Is there any health insurance fee waiver ?

As of right now, these are the only three circumstances where students may waive the health insurance fee:

1. Students who receive health insurance from their US resident spouse or US resident parents.
2. Students who receive government sponsored health insurance.
3. Students who receive health insurance from their place of employment in the US.

In other words, there will be no (or a very few) international students who will be able to waive the fee.

那么针对不同国际生的情况, 该项保险费用有任何减免可能性吗? 



 Why did the Office of International Education come up with this health insurance ?

For whatever reasons, some international students don't extend or even cancel their health insurance after their first semester. Some of them have had to come back to their home country after health related issues because they simply weren't able to pay the total of expenses. 
Lots of community colleges around California have imposed their own health insurance to international students.



Why is the health insurance mandatory ?

The Office of International Education negotiated with a few health insurance companies. From their point of view, they managed to get a very good plan for a very reasonable price with one health insurance company.... as long as all current and new international students are automatically enrolled.


国际生办公室和一些健康保险公司进行了交涉。他们认为, 该保险套餐是我们国际生的最佳选择,只要我们能够被自动加入无须繁杂手续。

Why did the Office of International Education agree to this mandatory health insurance ?

They told international students they don't have the resources to check on the health insurance of about a thousand international students every semester. 
There are 13 student workers, we guess some of them can check on it during the first weeks of every semesters.



Why do international students refuse this health insurance ?

Simple answer. Most of us have better coverage for a cheaper price.
As examples :

  • "My insurance not only covers medical expenses but also any repatriation and legal assistance, personal liability, personal accident, luggage cover and delayed departure in the United States of America as well as in my home country (France). I pay 49€/month."
  • "I am covered through my fiance who benefits from Kaiser's coverage, which is basically one of the best ones in the USA."

We managed to gather a large number of current international students who totally refuse to pay the fee because they encounter the same situation. We have already planned to meet and work on our argument but none of us know about US laws. We are all very motivated and have done some research that, unfortunately, are not profitable for now. We need to know in which direction organize our research.







To sum it up ?

New and current international students will have no choice but to pay the health insurance fee to keep their F1 status, even if they already have a better personal health insurance. They will have to pay both or cancel the other one.
As much as we all are upset about this news, the Office of International Education worked hard for it and started with a very good intention. But lots of current international actually don't need it and don't want to pay more than twice the price for less coverage.
In conclusion, international students are asking for nothing but to be able to waive this fee when they are already covered.





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