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PORTLAND -- It's back to the books for 30,000 students at Portland State University, but the tuition bill for some is a hard lesson in the cost of health insurance.
A new plan in effect this year is causing some confusion for students.
Mandatory health insurance has been the norm for PSU students for years. But now, after five years of reworking the policy, a new student health insurance plan has begun.
Every student on campus taking five credits or more must be covered.
The school wants students to be able to concentrate on studies rather than worry about what would happen if they were in an accident or needed other medical care.
Before this year, students paid $444 a year, which provided $7,500 in coverage. Students had no other choice. The school decided that coverage was lacking.
The new policy covers much more--up to $100,000 in benefits with no deductible--but it costs $1,680 a year in premiums.
"We also know that students are one accident away from having their entire college career derailed if they incur medical expenses," said Dr. Dana Tasson with the PSU Center for Student Health.
However, students can opt out if they have medical coverage through their parents or an employer and it's comparable to what the school offers.
Some students weren't aware of this and were surprised to see the higher premium on their latest tuition bill.
"I thought I opted out, I thought I filled that form out," said PSU junior Liz Rousseau.
The school says they are working with students to sort through any miscommunication.
So far 6,100 students have opted out, and 800 have been denied.
October 7 is the deadline for students to notify the school if they have proper coverage in order to opt out.