FSU Makes Health Insurance Mandatory

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FSU doctoral student Dennis Badlyns recalls the days as an undergrad in California without health insurance.

"A lot of times when I got really sick I didn't have anywhere to turn. I had to go to free clinics and wait for six hours and had to try homeopathic things I read on the Internet, said Badlyns.

Lesley Sacher, director of FSU's Student Health Center, says at any given point during the year, at least 40 percent of the university's student body is uninsured.

"When you pay the health fee to come to FSU, you have prepaid for regular office visits. However, that doesn't cover prescriptions, x-rays for labs or specialty care," explained Sacher.

Starting in the summer of 2007, all new FSU students will be requested to purchase either student health insurance sponsored by FSU, or show proof of comparable insurance from home. Health insurance will no longer be a voluntary option for students.

"I think it is important, in case anything were to happen, to have something to fall back on," said FSU student Jennifer Mills.

"At this moment, I'm 25 and I am kind of in limbo with my insurance. I need something. I would like to be insured," said FSU student Holly Fulkerson.

Sacher says those students who entered FSU through the voluntary insurance system will not be affected by the new change.

In another health related change, the university will institute "Breathe Easy" zones around campus this fall, providing the option to ban smoking within 50 yards of any building.