(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)
(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)

Health insurance is not a topic college students are dying to discuss.

The truth is, most college students don’t give health insurance the time of day because it’s never on their minds. When it is, they’ve probably been in some sort of accident and are wondering what they’re supposed to do.

Weber State University’s Student Wellness Center is trying to help students when it comes to health insurance and give them the information they need.

The Student Wellness Center has invited several insurance carriers to the Shepherd Union next week to answer any questions that come up. Companies like SelectHealth, Arches and Humana will have booths set up to tell students about plans, and how they can go about signing up for one.

Julia Whitney, a student wellness coordinator, hopes this event will help students get good, reliable information they can use to make decisions about insurance.

“The health insurance carriers are so excited to get on campus,” Whitney said. “(Students are) the biggest population that is uninsured, and the most likely to visit an emergency room.”

Whitney said health insurance is a heavy topic because it’s not normally on the forefront of students’ minds. She hopes this event will help students realize it is easy to get insured, and there are several resources for them to access.

“It’s very important to ask questions,” Whitney said. Even though the vendors are on campus, students aren’t allowed to sign contracts so the companies will be here to help students look at potential plans and give them information on how to sign up later on.

“We’ll have a health care navigator hired to help people navigate the healthcare.gov website,” she added.

Sometimes, when it comes to health insurance, information is limited. Parents can be a source of information, but don’t always know everything about the topic.

The same goes for the Internet. Students can get very mixed opinions and facts when simply using Google to find information.

Whitney mentioned that the main goal of this event is to have students be more informed when they leave.

“We hope students will be more informed on what to ask, what to look for and who to talk to, and that they will feel more confident in approaching healthcare,” she said.

Carla Wiggins, a health administration professor at Weber State, said the best thing students can do is go to this event.

“People tend to think about how much they’re paying, and not the protection they’re getting,” she said, adding that getting the right information is important when making decisions about health insurance and that the upcoming health insurance fair is the perfect place to do this.

According to collegenews.com, about 1.7 million traditional college students don’t have health insurance, meaning that about two-thirds of young adults can’t afford treatment.

Some students at Weber State fit into this area. WSU freshman Crystal Chadwick said she has health insurance through the state, but that mainly covers doctor visits.

“I can’t afford health insurance,” Chadwick said, though she believes the upcoming health insurance fair can give her some good information about affordable plans.

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