A motion to add a referendum question to increase the Students' Union Health Plan fee to the next general election ballot passed first reading at the Tue., Nov. 19. Students' Legislate Council meeting. If passed by undergraduate students in 2003, the price for the Health Plan will increase by $7.50 to $59.00 per session for full-time students.
"Over the years, drug costs and costs in general have increased," said John Madgett, Vice-President of Gallivan and Associates, which provides the insurance coverage. "The cost of the plan has increased beyond what was charged to students."
A proposed increase the fee to $124 per year was defeated at the polls in March 2002, resulting in coverage reactions for the current year. In order to build a surplus in the Health Plan fund, SU Vice-President Operations and Finance set the current proposal at $2.00 per session higher than what was suggested by Gallivan.
"The reason we want a surplus is because we want to eventually return to the benefits we had before, and to eliminate the current $99,000 deficit," said White.
Some counselors suspect previous the increase was defeated because students who did not use the plan voted for no increase.
"If you're not on the plan, please abstain from voting on the question [this year]," said SU President Matt Stambaugh.
Approximately 10,000 of 18,000 full-time undergraduate students use the Health Plan which was established in 1989.
The referendum question must be approved in a second reading in SLC before being included on the ballot. The last increase to the plan was approved in 1993.