Change is inevitable. With the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, Millsaps is now wrestling with an inevitability that cases are occurring sooner than most might have expected. For many students on-campus this semester, this change may come in the form of a different health care bill.
Because of COVID, the college has decided to implement several changes to student coverage plans for both domestic and international students. For the former, not much has changed since the college discontinued student health care coverage 2016 for domestic students. A list has been provided of various private and state-issued insurance plans domestic students have access to here. For the latter group, however, the available options are very different.
“All F-1 international students and U.S. citizens coming from abroad that do not have established U.S. insurance policies are required to have the Millsaps College health insurance policy, HYPERLINK “https://coverage2u.com/school/millsaps-college-2020-2021-2/”International Student Protection, while enrolled,” Katie Sorey, a staff person over International Student Support, said in a statement. You will automatically be enrolled and billed through the Business Office along with tuition and fees for International Student Protection’s Trailblazer Plan (Pioneer Plan for Athletes)”.
International Student Protection (ISP) plans have also been expanded to cover the cost of doctor ordered COVID-19 testing, according to Sorey. Plans for 2020-2021 help cover tele-medicine and -tele-mental services through DialCare. Sorey encourages students to either reach out to her, Austin Moore, or the new campus nurse Carol Landwirth for further information. As she understands that the U.S. healthcare system may be “quite different” from an international students’ home country. For some, like sophomore Kratik Gupta, this has resulted in much uncertainty.
“In March I got a COVID-19 test because I thought that it would all be covered as stated on the website. I have got the test and it came negative. But till date I am trying to know how much I need to pay for the test because the Baptist medical center is too busy and overwhelmed due to the pandemic”, he said.
While thinking of ways to pay off the bill, Kratik mentioned his concern with the very real possibility of international students testing positive.
“Till now, I have to pay at least $147 that I know of and I have no idea whether it is covered by my insurance or not. I have tried to contact the insurance providers but they say they have
not received any claim on my file. So, even though the website says that all the cost will be insured my experience can easily help you to understand what we may face, God forbid, if something actually happens to any international student”.
Although it is unclear if Gupta is simply a unique case, questions regarding the exact details of payment apparently vary from plan to plan. Currently available ISP plans range from $81 to $123 , depending on the actual plan. The Business Office is the best point of contact for students who wish to have further details on the topic of coverage payment.
Although all of these sudden and complicated changes may seem intimidating to some students and leave many such as Kratik with uncertainty, Sorey wants to make it abundantly clear that she and the administration are here for all of us.
“I encourage any of our students, international or domestic, to come to us with their questions,” she said.
“These are scary times, and we want them to have all of the information they need to be well-informed so they can make good choices to stay healthy and well. They are not alone. It is literally our jobs to be here for them and to support them. I’m in awe of our international students who choose to come to Millsaps College. They travel thousands of miles to attend this small liberal arts school in Jackson, Mississippi, away from their homes, family, and friends. I never could have done that at their age”, Sorey said in a statement.
For further information, students are encouraged to review the links provided in this article and on the college website. The Purple and White will also stay up to date on any new information released by the college.