What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Fees on Your Tuition Bill
As students return to school, some have noticed a new item in their bills: the coronavirus fee. The New York Times reports that due to new costs for screening, testing and security measures, some colleges and universities are shifting some of the costs to students. While schools are hoping that federal funding can cover some of the new costs associated with the pandemic, there is no guarantee that this can happen or when it will. Meanwhile, schools are asking students and parents to help them pay the bill.
For example, the University of Michigan charges students an additional $ 50 per semester , and Merrimack College, a private school in Massachusetts, asks students to personally pay an additional $ 475 per semester , including weekly testing. Elona University in North Carolina may charge students $ 129 for a home test kit, but they’re waiting to see how much health insurance companies can cover first.
According to a recent study published in the JAMA Network Open, researchers found that schools may need frequent testing of all students – along with camouflage and social distancing – to control the spread of the virus this fall.
Whether you are heading back to school or preparing your child for school, you should carefully review your bills for additional coronavirus fees. If you see a testing line, call your insurance company to see if they will reimburse you. Your provider may need a prescription from your doctor, along with a receipt from the school, to confirm that the test is “medically necessary.”
If you or your child contracted coronavirus this semester, your health insurance should cover the cost of treatment, but it never hurts to find out the details before returning to campus. You may need to maintain a certain number of credit hours per semester to be eligible for your health plan.
You may also notice an article on the Mandatory Student Medical Contribution, which unfortunately does not cover the cost of health insurance. The good news is that you or your child may be eligible for parenting health insurance up to the age of 26.