Daughtry bill would tackle student health fees in the UMaine system

Daughtry bill would tackle student health fees in the UMaine system

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 26, 2015

Contact: Ann Kim [Daughtry], 287-1488


Daughtry bill would tackle student health fees in the UMaine system

Bill would make college more affordable

AUGUSTA – Rep. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, has submitted legislation that would make it easier for students in the University of Maine system to avoid a student health fee that is often unnecessary.

Daughtry’s measure would allow students to choose whether or not they want to purchase the services covered by the fee.

“Right now, students automatically get charged each semester for something they might not even need,” said Daughtry. “At a time when education after high school is becoming less and less affordable, we need to be lowering barriers to getting a college education.”

When students enroll at Maine’s public colleges and universities, their tuition bill contains a $942 student health fee each semester. The deductible on the coverage it provides is $4,500, and the actual list of services covered is small. Students who don’t wish to pay the fee have to discover that it exists at all and then make an active effort to opt out. Students who notice the fee too late are still charged for the entire semester.

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, students whose parents have health insurance have been able to stay on their parents’ plan until turning 26, making the student health fee unnecessary. Students whose parents don’t have insurance might still be able to purchase cheaper plans on Maine’s health care marketplace.

“Extra financial burdens like the student health fee could make the difference in whether or not a young student can afford to go to college,” said Daughtry.

Daughtry’s measure will receive a public hearing before the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee in the coming weeks.

For more information on the bill, LD 538, An Act To Reduce Fees At Maine’s Postsecondary Institutions, go to: http://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280054985.

Daughtry, a member of the Education Committee and co-chair of the Commission on College Affordability, is serving her second term in the Maine House and represents part of Brunswick.

 

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Matthea “Mattie” Daughtry, a Brunswick native, is the State Representative for the Maine House District 66

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