A “Healthy” Debate

4 comments Written on September 16th, 2008 by
Categories: Students

In an effort to care for the health of students, Multnomah has implemented a new policy this year regarding insurance for students. As the student handbook states:

We require all students who are enrolled with six or more credits to purchase health insurance through the school or to provide proof of equivalent coverage through a personal health insurance policy.

Student reaction to this new policy has varied. In the September issue of Multnomah’s student newspaper The Voice, the “Photopinion” features six students who were asked the question, “What do you think of the new required student insurance?” Here are their responses:

I have my own insurance. I think it’s good if you don’t have insurance.
Elise Brown, freshman, intercultural studies

It’s pretty hard for students to pay that much money for insurance.
Steve Lyons, MA in teaching

If it’s a cheap plan and it’s affordable, then it’s probably a good idea for students.
Gabriele Winship, MAPS

I think it’s good because insurance is very expensive these days.
Sequoia Nelson, sophomore, journalism

It’s good for those who don’t have it, but it also places a financial burden on students.
Aaron Smith, junior, intercultural studies

I think it’s good as long as students understand what the insurance entails.
Kyle Tyson, junior, youth ministry

Even though this requirement isn't much of a "debate," per se, tell us what do YOU think?

*** UPDATE ***

This morning, I received an email from the undergraduate Student Services office with the following information pertinent to this post:

The cost this year for undergraduate is $411 for the fall semester (8/22/08 to 1/8/09) and $654 for the Spring/Sumer (1/9/09 to 8/2/09). Thus, it is $1065 for the year. The insurance is required for all undergraduate students taking six or more credits who do not have comparable insurance coverage.

The graduate plan is $561 for the Fall semester and $892 for the Spring/Summer, and the International Plan is $465 Fall and $739 Spring/Summer. Graduate and Seminary students are encouraged, but not required to purchase coverage.

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Creative Director / Lead Designer at Multnomah University and Freelance Graphic Designer.

4 comments “A “Healthy” Debate”

I’m in the seminary so hopefully it doesn’t apply to me because I haven’t had it since summer ended.

While I was working full time in the summer it cost me and my wife $100 a month for coverage…now that I’m in school I can only work part time and therefore the cost shoots up to $540 a month. Combine that with paying $700 a month for school, I can’t pay for insurance.

Until insurance costs are reasonable, I think this is a terrible idea.

Hi Tyler,

This is Karen Fancher, a Dean at the College. Health insurance is encouraged but not required for seminary and graduate students. Therefore, it’s your choice whether you opt for it or not. We most certainly understand the concerns about finances. However, the requirement for insurance is based on concern for students. I’m guessing that your employer paid part of your premium, and that is why insurance through your work was less. College students who have other comparable coverage through parents or work can opt out of the insurance requirement. For those who don’t have those options, this student rate is actually pretty competitive. We researched a lot before we chose this policy.

I’ve worked at Multnomah for a little over ten years. In that time I’ve seen many students pay a lot of money for classes, and invest very little to care for themselves. We’ve had students with serious concerns who would not go to the doctor or emergency room because they could not pay for it. We’ve had students dealing with severe depression or other issues who could not function well in school, and did not have the funds to get the help that they needed. We don’t have the resources at Multnomah for extensive medical care or counseling services for more severe issues. Thus, we want to make sure that students are well and are stewarding their bodies as they invest in their spirtual and intellectual growth.

If a major medical concern happens during college and students haven’t planned for it–it can be financially devastating and prevent them from being able to complete their studies. Please know that the reason for the policy comes from years of seeing students in very difficult situations.

I hope this helps to bring another perspective.

In Christ,


I think it makes total sense at the undergrad level, but not at the graduate level…unless the school provides various ways to get varying levels of coverage at different prices.

thanks for the help and clarification.

I can probably help you with an inexpensive student plan. Call me at 800-259-0455 ext. 150, for Craig. We are a broker and can search for the least expensive, best functional plan. Also, I am a future student hoping to enroll in the Adult completion in November. Give me a call, we also have short term coverage options.