University of Oregon considers creating UOCare, its own self-insured student health plan

May 26, 2015 / Phil Lesch

Register Guard
May 24th, 2015

The University of Oregon is proposing to create its own health insurance plans — UOCare — and to sweep all new and returning students into one of the plans come fall.

The plan would include the existing on-campus health care plus a yet-to-be-identified net­work of off-campus doctors, counselors, urgent care and hospital services.

UOCare would satisfy the requirement in the federal Affordable Care Act that students carry health insurance.

The federal penalty for individuals who neglect to buy coverage is getting steep: $325 this year and $695 for 2016.

The UO Board of Trustees first would have to give the UO permission at its June 4-5 meeting to pursue the student health plans. The plan would be self-insured, which would mean the university would take on the financial risk of providing coverage for the students.

“If we don’t provide something for students, they will have to navigate the state exchange themselves,” said Robin Holmes, vice president for student life. “They also most likely will pay a higher cost on that exchange because they will be lumped in with older Oregonians.”

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