University leadership accepts recommendation for DePaul student health insurance plan


Eric Henry

DePaul is currently one of only 23 percent of private American universities that does not offer its students health insurance.

DePaul leadership accepted a recommendation from the DePaul Student Health Insurance Task Force to offer a health insurance plan to its students, according to Eugene Zdziarski, DePaul’s vice president for student affairs. 

The university has not offered a health insurance plan to its students since 2014. 

In January, a task force was created to explore the possible addition of a health insurance offering at DePaul. Since then, its members researched what health insurance plans other colleges utilize, surveyed students on what their insurance needs looked like and evaluated how many students are in need of health insurance at DePaul. 

The Lookout Mountain Group (LMG), a group of experts looking to reform healthcare for the college student population, released a report in 2018 detailing the uninsured rate among college students. The report claimed more than 90 percent of college students enrolled at four-year degree institutions have access to a student health insurance or benefit program provided by their college or university.

LMG also reported that 38 percent of public colleges and 77 percent of private colleges require students to have health insurance, according to a recent American College Health Association survey. DePaul is one of the 23 percent that does not currently offer health insurance to its students.

As for the extent of coverage, cost and who the provider will be, those details remain to be under review by university leadership, Zdziarski told The DePaulia. The process of providing students a university-sponsored health coverage option is still underway.

Currently, DePaul is contracting with an insurance broker — an intermediary who sells or negotiates insurance on behalf of a client — to identify potential insurance plans, premium rates and procedures for establishing hard waiver requirements for student health insurance, according to Zdziarski. He said the process will be overseen by the University Student Health Insurance Committee, which is still being established.

University leadership has not shared who the specific broker will be yet.