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Task Force on Health and Well Being: Progress Report - page 9 / 24





9 / 24

McCosh Health Center Facility

The recommendations presented above address concerns about staffing and program, but we want to conclude this section with recommendations regarding the McCosh Health Center facility which, as we noted in our January report, was constructed as an infirmary in 1925.  McCosh is a handsome building that has served the University exceedingly well and it is lovingly and generously supported by the Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary.  (The “parent’s suite,” which is solely maintained by the Auxiliary, provides accommodations for parents when their children are hospitalized or in the inpatient unit at UHS.)  As wonderful as this building is, it is increasingly hard pressed to support a contemporary and growing health services program and an expanding student body.  We believe it is time for the University to assess the capacity of McCosh to meet the health services needs of the years ahead, and to begin to consider (a) ways in which McCosh could be renovated and expanded; (b) the implications for UHS if it were to operate from more than one location; and (c) what options might exist to relocate UHS either to another stand-alone location or to a location in which it would be more closely integrated with the fitness programs offered at Dillon gym (a topic we return to below).  

The Student Health Plan

Our January report identified a number of concerns about the Student Health Plan (SHP), which provides students with insurance coverage for off-campus health care.  These concerns related to its coverage for mental health care, prescription drugs, and dental and vision care; the relatively high out-of-pocket costs that students incur under the plan; and the relatively high premiums for dependent coverage (and for post-enrolled graduate students).  We also noted a number of improvements that had already been made in the plan this year, including the extension of eligibility to same sex domestic partners and a significant expansion of coverage for well-baby care.  After carefully reviewing the plan and comparing it to our peer institutions, we believe the SHP should be changed to better meet the needs of students and eligible dependents.  Our recommendations are presented below.  

Plan Overview

New Jersey regulations require all students enrolled in an institution of higher education to maintain health insurance coverage.  Institutions are required to verify coverage and to offer health insurance coverage for purchase by students.

Participation in the Princeton SHP is mandatory for all graduate students.  Undergraduate students may choose to waive out of the plan by providing certification of other health insurance coverage.  This year just under 45% of undergraduates have enrolled, resulting in a total enrollment of 4,252.  The fees for this year are as follows:  

-- students, $730 per year;

-- dependents standard plan ($250 deductible), $2,840 per year for 1 dependent, $4,505 for two or more dependents;

--  dependents high deductible plan ($1,000 deductible), $2,630 per year for 1 dependent, $4,080 for two or more dependents.  

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