A Keybridge analysis indicates that college students are being overcharged for health care services.
On May 1, the Wall Street Journal reported on Keybridge Research’s study quantifying the unnecessary health care costs faced by college students and their families. Commissioned by Highland Campus Health Group, a provider of on-campus insurance billing services, the study finds that these excessive costs total $2.3 to $2.9 billion per year, or $1,204 per student over a four-year college career. The study utilized data gathered from multiple sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an independent survey conducted by Louisiana State University, and several original surveys conducted by Keybridge.
In short, the study quantifies six categories of unnecessary costs: over-priced student insurance plans, redundant student fees, fee-for-service overcharges, lack of direct billing to private insurers, students forced into school insurance plans, and other hidden health fees. Approximately 65% of the total overcharges are the result of redundant student health center fees to students with either private or school-sponsored insurance. Also contributing to unnecessary costs is the complicated and opaque on-campus health care billing structure. For example, over 60% of schools’ websites surveyed provide no information about private insurance reimbursement, and over 40% of student health centers surveyed provide no information on how to obtain the necessary paperwork to file for private insurance reimbursement.