Aetna Insurance to drop Simpson in August

by Katie Anthony/Staff Writer

Aetna Insurance made a major decision last month that affects many Simpson College students: to no longer be the college’s provider. This decision leaves health services scrambling to find coverage by August of 2010.

“We did not see this coming at all,” Rita Audlehelm, director of health services, said. “We were in the process of getting the paperwork together to renew the policy for the 2010-2011 school year and we received word that Aetna was not going to renew the policy.”

Audlehelm says that the reason for Aetna not renewing the policy is due to the fact that not enough students signed up.

“We currently have about 100 students signed up for insurance through Aetna,” Audlehelm said. “Aetna said that they wanted at least 250, but that was never put into a contract. They never told us that they wanted that many students.”

While this number may not seem high, Audlehelm says that she’s very happy with the turnout.

“We’re shocked and very pleased that we have this many students,” Audlehelm said. “Most students are still covered under their parents’ insurance, which is why the number isn’t higher, but we’re very pleased with the 100 student turnout.”

Sophomore Emily Adams is one of the students still covered under her parents’ insurance.

“I chose not to use Simpson’s insurance provider due to the fact that I’m still covered under my parents’ insurance,” Adams said. “The Simpson policy is expensive, and I feel that they don’t cover everything that I’d need them to cover.”

Aetna will finish out the 2010 school year and provide coverage for Simpson students up until Aug. 13, 2010, Audlehelm said.

“Aetna has assured me that they will cover the students who have insurance through Aug. 13,” Audlehelm said. “If a student breaks their leg on Aug. 11, Aetna will cover them until all procedures and appointments are finished. They must finish out all claims.”

Audlehelm hopes to have a decision made about the new insurance provider by mid-March.

“I’ve asked each provider to give us estimates by the end of the month,” Audlehelm said. “We’ll hopefully have a decision made shortly after that.”

With the search on for a new insurance provider for Simpson, health services has it narrowed down to four insurance companies: United Health Care, First Agency, Student Assurances and Lewer Agency. From here, the student health insurance advisory committee will be helping choose a new policy for Simpson students.

Senior Stevie Trevathan, who is a member of the advisory committee, mentions what she’s looking for in a new policy.

“I’m looking for a well rounded insurance plan,” Trevathan said. “I would like my coverage explained to me in plain language and not insurance jargon. I would like an insurance plan that is geared toward the things college students need. In my opinion, that is better emergency and doctor visit coverage, more suitable coverage for such things and birth control, annual exams, and sexually transmitted infections tests, and a plan that allows needed prescription drugs. As college students, we need to get well quick-We’re busy.”