University of California Student Association and Dr. Richard Pan Announce Legislation Removing Caps on Coverage in UC Health Plan
SACRAMENTO – University of California (UC) students joined Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, at the State Capitol today to urge UC to eliminate caps on coverage for students in the UC student health plan and announce AB 314 to do the same. Kenya Wheeler, a UC Berkeley graduate student who was diagnosed with Lymphoma in his brain and faced bankruptcy due to his illness, discussed why over 100,000 California college students should not risk financial ruin because of caps in their student health plan.
“When I received my diagnosis, I couldn’t believe that all the work we had put into achieving historic health care reforms had left me and other sick UC students without protections against a lifetime of debt,” Wheeler said. “We are pleased to work with Dr. Pan in this effort to give students who have the UC Student Health Plan the protections we’ve worked so hard to achieve.”
“I fought for the Affordable Care Act so families can afford care for a sick or injured child, parent or sibling without facing financial ruin,” Dr. Pan said. “It’s why we all fought so hard for reform. So today, working with the University of California Student Association, I have introduced AB 314 to implement this important reform for our UC students.”
“The University of California Student Association urges UC to protect its sickest students from financial ruin,” said UCSA representative Jonathan Ly. “No student should have to deal with these concerns on top of fighting a catastrophic disease or injury and also earning an education.”
The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits lifetime caps to ensure that people with serious illness will continue to have affordable, quality health care. However, because of an exemption in the ACA, UC has chosen to continue to include caps in the UC student health plan, including a lifetime cap of $400,000. UC students who exceed these caps will be subject to out-of-pocket costs for their health care that very few college students and their families can afford. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article featuring Wheeler, about 30 universities across the country have 300,000 students that could be subject to such caps.
Dr. Richard Pan is a father, small business owner, UC Davis educator and pediatrician who represents Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt and Lodi in the California State Assembly and serves as Chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Health. Dr. Pan continues to practice medicine at The Effort Oak Park Community Clinic, pursuing his passion for working with families to build healthier communities.
Website of Assemblymember Richard Pan: www.asmdc.org/pan
CONTACT: Brian O’Hara (916) 319-2009