Pills arranged in shape of dollar signStudents can opt out of their health insurance plans without paying upfront, thanks to a new program of the Cashier’s Office.

New system to ease student opt-out of drug and dental insurance plans

A new system launched today by the Cashier’s Office will allow registrants to opt out of the drug and dental insurance coverage provided by their student governments without paying upfront.

Every UWindsor student is insured through their representatives—full-time undergrads by the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance, part-time undergrads by the Organization of Part-time University Students, and graduate students by the Graduate Student Society. They may opt out of this insurance, provided they have equivalent coverage through another carrier, most commonly a parent’s employer.

Before the creation of the “Early Opt-out” system, students were required to pay for the insurance along with other student fees collected during the registration process, and then could receive reimbursement months later.

Now, says Chris Lanoue, manager of student accounts in the Finance Department, they will be able to opt out through the myUWindsor portal. However, to take advantage of the system, they must act by August 3.

“After that, they can still opt out using the old method, but they’ll have to make the payment upfront and be reimbursed by their student society,” Lanoue says.

About half of the UWSA membership opts out of the insurance plan, which costs $273 a year. The charge to other student groups vary, based on differences in coverage.

Lanoue points out that the terms of each plan are negotiated by the student representatives, independent of university administration.

“All our office does is facilitate the gathering of the information,” he says. “We send the reports to the insurance companies for their approval process.”

The program will launch today as Fall 2014 registration opens for first-year students. Lanoue says its development was a real team effort.

“All the student societies needed to come together to be able to offer this service,” he says. “The developers in IT Services have done a fantastic job.”

Learn more at uwindsor.ca/optout.