Montana University Students Receive Health Insurance Refund
Many Montana University System students began receiving checks in the mail this week from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. An accompanying letter says that the check is a refund stemming from a settlement with State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen’s office concerning the cost of the premiums for the Academic Blue student health insurance plan. According to Lindeen, students were originally overcharged.
"We actually came to a negotiated agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield over the rates they were charging in the 2014-2015 school year," Lindeen said. "It turns out they were actually overcharging some students. We had gone through this whole rate review process and figured out that the premiums were actually higher than they should've been."
Lindeen said Blue Cross Blue Shield, "did the right thing" by settling and that part of the problem stemmed from BCBS charging the same rate for fall semester as the spring semester. Lindeen also said that the overcharge did not appear to be deceptive in nature. The final total of the settlement was over one million dollars.
"It was $1.3 million and we were looking at 5,609 students who were enrolled in the student health plan for that 2014-2015 year," Lindeen said. "I think that was a probably nice surprise, I'm hoping, after those students got those checks in the mail."
Most students ended up receiving checks of about $170. Lindeen advises all students to shop around for insurance as they may find a better plan elsewhere, whether that be by staying on their parents plan, through the insurance exchange, or via Medicaid.