Ohio University Graduate Student Senate discussed four different health insurance bids at its Tuesday night meeting.

Student Health Insurance Administrator Anna Casteel said the university will announce its decision Thursday. The selected insurance policy will stay in place for the next three or four years, according to a previous Post report.

Of the four bids, most students want to keep the current health insurance plan under UnitedHealthcare, who placed a “competitive” bid, Casteel said. 

Casteel said UnitedHealthcare knows OU and agreed to its criteria. It is also the cheapest of the four plans.

The three other bids were from USI Insurance Services, Academic Health Plans and Campus First. Casteel is concerned with USI's statement that benefits and rates are available only upon agreement. Academic Health Plans does not cover all children, meaning students would have to pay a premium rate for each child covered. 

Under Campus First, a student educational benefit trust, undergraduate and graduate students would pay different rates for insurance. 

Casteel said the university is in the process of finding a third party to view health insurance waivers for international students next Fall Semester. International students currently cannot waive the provided health insurance, according to a previous Post report

Casteel said after GSS’ resolution to ask OU to increase health insurance subsidies, she believes the progress is “going strong.”

“I think it’s a possibility to take the burden away,” Casteel said.

Body members passed three resolutions involving their budget. $723.59 of its $7,286.57 budget will be allocated to the Sustain OHIO Essay Contest, Better Bystanders bar coasters and food for the Muslim Student Association night.

The Better Bystanders bar coasters will be distributed to local bars in Athens defined as “graduate hangouts,” according to that resolution. Each establishment will receive approximately 150 coasters, totaling 1,300 coasters. 

Maria Funcheon, representative for the department of sociology, said Better Bystanders have been seeking initiatives beyond social media and flyers. 

“(These are) things that students can see when they’re out and actually experiencing something that they might need to intervene instead of a flyer when they’re going to class,” Funcheon said.

GSS also appointed three new members to the body and promoted two department representatives to senator positions. 



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