CRANFORD, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — It was a health care shocker for college students in New Jersey who found out that they can’t buy low-cost health insurance at their schools because of the Affordable Care Act.
Now, they are at the risk of being without insurance, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.
Alex McTaggert is majoring in Computer Science but even he is having trouble signing up for health insurance on the Federal website.
“It said, ‘info you entered is not valid’ so I have to call this number,” McTaggart said.
For Carolina Mendonca it was easier to put together a creative Halloween costume than it was to call the number on the website.
“I got no answer so I left it for another day and the other day never came and I went to the dentist yesterday and I have to pay $2,000 out-of-pocket,” she said.
Many students have found themselves in health care limbo this semester. Community colleges in New Jersey used to offer cheap health insurance for hundreds of dollars a year but they had to drop the practice because Federal Law prohibits the sale of bare bones policies.
Under the Affordable Care Act it would have cost more to run the program and the cost would have been passed on to students.
“More than a thousand dollars per student and that is dramatically different,” said Union County Community College, Vice President of Administrative Services, Stephen Nacco said.
Students like Carlos Arias depended on the low-cost health care.
“I’m kind of healthy right now but I am worried that when something happens I’m not going to go to the hospital,” Arias said.
The college has started to help students sign up for affordable care through their website. Other students have remained on their parents plans.
“I am fortunate, but I feel for these students,” Gillian Cardona said.
Some schools have also offered more expensive health plans but have not required students to purchase them.
New Jersey recently repealed a law that required students to show proof of health insurance if they did not want to buy the school’s plan.
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