Regents reject Health Fee increase

In a move that surprised many with a hand in the process, the Board of Regents voted to not accept the $6 increase in the Health Fee proposed by Tech’s Mandatory Student Fee Advisory Committee (MSFAC) and approved by Institute President G.P. “Bud” Peterson in February.

The recommended increase in the Health Fee would have equaled $250,000 in additional revenue for Stamps Health Services, according to Senior Director George Moore.

According to Board of Regents spokesman John Millsaps, the Regents chose not to increase the health fee becasue Stamps is carrying a balance in its Health Fee fund, Tech could charge insurance companies for service to provide additional revenue and savings, and 18 other institutions managed to avoid fee increases of their own.

[media-credit name=”Greg Moore” align=”alignleft” width=”280″][/media-credit]Moore warned that dipping into the reserve fund may not be the best solution to a fund shortfall.

“How much do you take out of your savings account? What happens if something falls from outer space and we need to put a new roof on this building?” Moore said, mentioning Stamps had recently purchased an elevator with reserve funds. “We are stewards of students’ money.”

Moore also said that there are several downsides preventing Stamps from seeking reimbursements from insurance companies. First, there is no guarentee that students will have insurance coverage, leading to high fees for service if they do not.

Second, the complexity of seeking reimbursements from a number of insurance companies could create more expenses than revenue.

Finally, Moore is concerned about student privacy, because many students who have insurance remain on their parents’. Parents receive a benefits summary, which may contain more information than students would normally want to reveal.

“There are things that students come here for that they don’t really want to talk to their parents about,” Moore said. “So that would perhaps preclude them from getting care that they need because they don’t want to have that discussion with their parents.”