GPSA discusses new health care for graduate students

Cougar Health Services to use health insurance plan cheaper for students



Sally Makamson, student insurance and privacy specialist at Cougar Health Services discussed new health care plan available to graduate students on assistantship.

CAITLIN KOONCE, Evergreen reporter

GPSA featured a speaker who discussed a new health insurance plan provided by Cougar Health Services that would make costs cheaper for graduate students during their first meeting of the semester.

GPSA Vice President Veneice Guillory-Lacy went over an upcoming ice cream social event put on by GPSA. The ice cream social will be held at 12-3 p.m., Sept. 17 at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe.

She said the social will be free for anyone who attends with their cougar card.

Guillory-Lacy introduced the guest speaker of the meeting, Sally Makamson, student insurance and privacy specialist at Cougar Health Services.

Makamson said all graduate students should check their WSU email for information about the new insurance policies being put in place this year.

Makamson said the Cougar Health Services introduced new changes for graduate students on an assistantship.

She said one of the most important changes made by Cougar Health Services is the shift to a preferred provider health insurance plan, which would make it cheaper for graduate students.

The new preferred provider plan gives graduate students a higher level of coverage from other providers that are also part of the preferred provider network. The new provider network for this plan is Choice, according to the Cougar Health Services website.

Although this means a cheaper bill for graduate student going to a preferred provider healthcare center, there is still a cost for healthcare outside of the preferred provider network, known as ‘Out-of-Network Providers,’ according to the website.

Makamson said all graduate students on this plan should make sure they are going to a healthcare center that is a part of the preferred provider network.

GSPA President Ralph Chikhany briefly explained the budget for the upcoming year.

Chikhany said GPSA is pending Senate approval for a $693,165 budget for the 2019-2020 school year. This budget covers operations, the executive board, community affairs, travel, awards and scholarships, and more for graduate students that are members of GPSA.

Guillory-Lacy said that if there are concerns or if something could be improved there are “Off Monday Meetings” in the GPSA office, in the CUB room 308. During these times students can discuss what changes they think should be made.