Students Express Opinions Over Health Care Plan


Health care coverage is required for all students at Fordham University. (Courtesy of Pia Fischetti / The Fordham Ram)

In 2019, Fordham University mandated that all undergraduate students have health insurance coverage. With this, Fordham changed its partnership with Aetna’s Student Health Plan from opt-in to opt-out to ensure that students would have a health insurance plan.

As Fordham’s Student Health Insurance Plan website states, “Now more than ever, Fordham students need healthcare and insurance they can count on.”

The Aetna Student Health Plan premium cost is $3,905 for the year, varying from $3,975 in 2016 to $3,073 in 2019.

This plan is on the high end of the price scale for student health insurance plans, although not outside the average range.

Over 200 universities partner with Aetna to provide students insurance, such as Columbia University and Manhattanville College.

Columbia charges students $4,189, while Manhattanville charges students $3,429. Maureen Keown, director of university health services, said that during the 2021-22 school year, the average price range for a plan at similar institutions was between $2,141 and $4,386.

Fordham chose to partner with Aetna through a competitive market bid of prices, services and benefits, with the most recent contract negotiation being for the current academic year.

The cost of the plan is solely based on the cost of the student’s medical claims. This makes the number of students who purchased the plan in years past important.

Costs can be spread across a larger population, and contracts can be negotiated if Fordham has a larger customer base to leverage.
Keown says that approximately 25-30% of Fordham students purchased the Aetna Student Health plan in recent years, which was an increase from the 2019-20 academic year when only 18% of students were enrolled in the plan.

Some students have been discussing ways for students to be better informed about their options when purchasing a student health insurance plan.

“I think that Fordham should do more to ensure that students can explore all possible options when purchasing student healthcare. While I appreciate the plan that they provide, I want to research all options to be sure that I am buying the best plan I can within my price range,” said Avery Mitts, FCRH ’25.

For many students, $3,905 can be too much to pay for health insurance. Others may need specialized or expansive coverage. While Fordham has attempted to resolve some of these issues in the last year, some students are still unsatisfied with the plan.