Changing policy on policies

The University should keep students’ health insurance information.

As every student planning to attend the University in the summer or fall semester registers, the repeated annoyance of filling in health insurance and billing information inconveniences many. The University could save students from the headache if they would only keep insurance information semester to semester. Before a student is allowed to enter the Web registration system, the student is asked to either choose to purchase the University’s hospitalization insurance, or they must enter their own personal health insurance company, telephone and policy number. Many students do have their own health insurance under their parents or through a job.

Because registration times are assigned to students, there often is a problem of students having their health insurance information at their fingertips. There is a scramble to call parents or find their health insurance card. The student trying to register panics at the thought of their perfectly scheduled semester going to ruin because of a few little hours wasted looking for a current policy number. Even greater problems arise when the student is so desperate to squeeze into the one or two remaining seats in a class that they instinctively choose the University health insurance. Although students know they can change or update this information later, it often causes more trouble than convenience.

The decision to purchase insurance goes immediately to One Stop billing, and will show up on a tuition bill. The student then has to spend hours waiting at One Stop or on the phone with someone to straighten out the situation. Then the student has to wait for One Stop to update this information for UM Pay, and then proceed to pay the correct amount of tuition and fees.

The University could solve these problems for students if it would just carry insurance information from semester to semester. It is probable that most students have the same policy for much of their time at the University. Because the information can be changed online, students could be held responsible for letting the University know that they are changing a policy, just as they update their personal information when changing addresses.