Registration for Obamacare ended March 31; Is Pace covered?


Andreas Christou, Senior Copy Editor

The final deadline to enroll for health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, was March 31.

Among the website malfunctions of, stories of health care plan changes, and law changes this new act has brought in, many students on campus remain skeptical about what exactly Obamacare does and whether or not it is the right choice for them.

Students are covered during their tenure at Pace, whether it is through university health insurance or their family’s own plan.

“Obamacare should not be conflicting with health care plans of current students,” Associate Director of University Health Care Karen Lolli said. “All full-time students are charged with a mandatory university health care plan, that can cover them for their time at Pace, and that they can choose to waive should they already have a plan under their parents’ name.”

The university’s health care plan meets the criteria for health care exchange plans. Additionally, a Pace committee is currently negotiating the plan with other insurance companies in an effort to provide a wider range of options. Lolli and a variety of campus representatives, including university healthcare staff, compose the committee in charge of this.

Graduating seniors, however, are still unsure of how Obamacare will impact their health coverage.

Recent college graduates have three health care options – remain covered by their parents’ health care package, until the new legally allowed age limit of 26; receive coverage from an employer; or enroll in another health care plan, following the expiration of university health care (Aug. 15 following graduation).

The termination of the university’s package is classified as a “qualifying event”, which would allow a graduate to buy into an exchange plan, or based on income guidelines receive a government subsidy for health care.

A recent survey of 75 Pace students revealed that 81 percent of students are under their parents’ health insurance and plan on remaining under it following graduation, while 19 percent have plans to enroll in an alternate plan.

Obamacare is different from prior health care packages in that it urges students to take initiative in signing up for their own health care plans. It moves away from previous trends of college graduates not wanting to pay for or not having any health coverage.

“One thing students do need to realize is that it is mandatory that everyone have health insurance, and come income tax time, those who do not will be fined,” Lolli said.

Pace is working with insurance agencies to ensure its students are covered with a plan that meets the Health Care Act’s criterion and will help students to enroll in an appropriate plan following graduation.