MU to provide grad student health benefits despite new law

2 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Friday, August 21 2015 Aug 21, 2015 Friday, August 21, 2015 12:37:00 PM CDT August 21, 2015 in News
By: James Packard, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri announced Friday it would provide health insurance to grad students, despite a new federal law limiting such benefits.

Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said on his website MU would defer implementation of its decision to end health insurance and would instead pay for the insurance for eligible students.

Loftin said the decision came after conversations with external experts and university leadership, coupled with consultation of other universities.

The university would continue its previous health insurance policy in order to allow time to better understand regulations from the Affordable Care Act, according to Loftin. The deferment would also allow the university to consider the best implementation of new federal guidelines. 

MU previously said the IRS would penalize the university $100 per day for every student it gave subsidies to, citing a provision within the Affordable Care Act that prevents employers from giving employees money to pay for health insurance. 

The university said the IRS considers graduate students employees rather than students because they provide research and teaching services as part of their studies.

Earlier Friday, Sen. Claire McCaskill called on the University of Missouri and federal officials to resolve the issues with the health insurance coverage. Friday afternoon, she released a statement after a solution was reached.

"As a proud Mizzou alum, I'm pleased the university was able to act quickly to correct this mistake and ensure that their graduate students will continue to have access to quality, affordable health insurance," McCaskill said. "However it's clear from the confusion over the last few days that a long-term policy is needed to provide certainty to these students."

Students said earlier in the week they were angry the university waited weeks to announce the changes and said they thought the university wasn't doing enough to address the issue.

In response to student backlash, MU offered graduate students a one-time fellowship of $1,200 for the fall semester to help offset health insurance costs but said it did not have a long-term solution to provide the rest of the $3,000 it previously offered.

The Forum on Graduate Rights wrote a letter to university leadership, dated Aug. 18, demanding health insurance coverage, as well as a number of other minimums, which Loftin said Friday leadership had discussed.

Students that were members of the Forum on Graduate Rights group on Facebook planned a walk-out day Aug. 26 in response to stripped health care benefits. 

Loftin previously announced the creation of a task force, headed by Dean Kris Hagglund, to find long-term solutions for grad students. 

"As a research university, MU places extraordinary value on graduate student contributions to our scholarly and campus community. We are committed to being a place where graduate students thrive as they earn their degrees," Loftin said on his website.

Loftin also said the Office of Graduate Studies would expand the charge and membership of its task force on the graduate experience, in order to address students' concerns.

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the information and statement from Sen. Claire McCaskill.]

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The former Cole County Chief Juvenile Officer sued his former boss and the Cole County Commission Tuesday,... More >>
21 minutes ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:33:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The man found dead at an Old Hawthorne home Monday morning was the son of a Clark County... More >>
33 minutes ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has entered in a new foster care study that will look at foster parent recruitment and retention.... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A criminal investigation is underway in a deadly vehicle fire where foul play is suspected. Audrain... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:08:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 2018 Jefferson City council elections only have one contested seat: 5th Ward Council member. Incumbent... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Cover Missouri, a coalition promoting sign ups for the Affordable Care Act, held an open-enrollment event at the... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Truman VA’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) went live with a new Tele-ICU technology on Tuesday. Tele-ICU... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Police are still investigating the death of Augustus Roberts, the man found dead at a home in the... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Troopers arrested a man on Tuesday after a high-speed chase which started south of Ashland and ended in... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:38:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
VERSAILLES - Prosecutors filed charges against three employees of the Morgan County Jail on Monday, including a nurse accused of... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:37:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has become the 34th state, in addition to two territories, to accept a nationwide public safety network.... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:35:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
NEVADA (AP) — Two inmates who were captured soon after breaking out of a western Missouri jail face new charges.... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:20:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
ASHLAND – Those who live around Ashland were able to avoid paying an online convenience fee or driving to Columbia... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:16:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation for a primary seatbelt law has been filed by the Missouri House Transportation Committee chairman. This... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 1:03:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Firefighters have found two bodies while battling a blaze in a Kansas City, Kansas, home.... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:53:16 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Rabbi Avraham Lapine and his wife, Channy, dreamed of dedicating their lives to the Jewish community. In... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:46:00 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
CARTHAGE (AP) — A former employee of a Carthage rehabilitation center was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:38:59 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police found 23 individually vacuum-sealed plastic bags of marijuana on Monday in a package delivered by FedEx. ... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:22:00 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 27°
8pm 28°
9pm 28°
10pm 30°
11pm 30°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas
9:00p
Chicago Med
7:00p
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2017
8:00p
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas
9:00p
Chicago Med
7:00p
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2017
8:00p
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld