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Published On: Wed, Feb 25th, 2015

Cornell students protest mandatory Obamacare fee as school experiences rising costs

Students at Cornell University are responding to the effects of Obamacare after a new $350 student health fee is being assessed to every student for opting out of the university health plan, even if they have separate insurance plans.

Announced last week by President David Skorton, the news spurred a series of rallies on campus, the Twitter hashtag #FightTheFee and an accompanying Twitter handle, which encouraged students to “pack” Thursday’s Student Assembly meeting. (per The College Fix)

This seems couterintuitive since the health care reform enabled parents to carry their full-student dependents until the age of 26. Skorton said that the new health fee would “impact approximately 70 percent of undergraduates, 30 percent of professional and 10 percent of graduate students.”

photo Will O'Neill via Flickr

photo Will O’Neill via Flickr

Students who do not opt in to the $2,352 plan will get hit with the $350 fee, which “most likely” won’t be covered by financial aid, according to The Cornell Review.

Cornell is restructuring the finances of its Student Health Insurance Plan, or SHIP, according to the report by Fix.

“The current funding approach for student health services relies on central university resources, funds from SHIP for services delivered to its members, and fees charged at the time of services to individuals,” Skorton wrote.

Skorton said in the statement Cornell’s health services funding has been “strained” in light of rising health insurance costs. Additionally, students will have a $10 co-pay for visits to the campus’ health center, Gannett.

The Review also noted that the newspaper said the university plan is run through Aetna, whose CEO is a Cornell MBA grad.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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