Student health an ASG focus

By Brook Stallings.
The Associated Student Government (ASG) is exploring ways to provide a comprehensive health insurance program to all BCC students. ASG President Amanda Alva said they will ask students about their health care needs before moving forward. Alva is working with student governments at Highline Community College and Edmonds Community College to coordinate their efforts. Her eventual goal is a health insurance plan that would cover all 133,000 community college students in Washington State. BCC students already have the option to purchase an injury and sickness insurance plan. The plan costs $192 a quarter for a single student, or $64 a month. The insurance is available to all Washington community college students. However, the plan provides limited benefits. The maximum lifetime benefit is $26,500. Prescription drugs are not covered, and no preventative health procedures are covered except for mammograms, which are mandated by the state. Alva does not consider the existing plan to be adequate for BCC students. “This is to cover you in case you get injured or sick — basic, basic coverage,” she said. “We shouldn’t only cover you if you get injured or sick. We should promote wellness.” “Four-year colleges tend to have a great health care program. Community colleges do not,” Alva said. The University of Washington provides comprehensive health insurance to a single student for $473 a quarter, or less than $160 a month. A coordinated effort by Washington community colleges to develop a health care plan would put all Washington community college students in one insurance pool. “The more membership you get, the better discounts on rates,” Alva said. At this time, it’s too early to say how much the program would cost, who would pay for it, or what it would cover. Alva said that is up to the students of BCC. “We really need to go out there and ask the students,