GSSC Bureau Chief Cole Gengos provides the essential details of this week’s GSSC meeting in this weekly update. Curious about the new Columbia health insurance plan? Excited about Naloxone training? Like reading about financial allocation? You’ve come to the right post…

The council kicked off their meeting by introducing the two guests of the evening, Stephanie Jennings and Bonnie Li of Columbia Health! They came to discuss the student health insurance plan, specifically the changes that came with this new school year.

Previously, there was a Gold Plan and a Platinum plan, these have since been dissolved. There now exists one plan, the Columbia Plan, which Stephanie described as a “90% Plan.” She continued to explain that this meant that 90% of medical fees would be covered by the plan with 10% coming out of pocket. Among this, there are other charges associated with specific types of care. Unfortunately, being healthy isn’t cheap. She did emphasize, however, that most services on campus have no out of pocket cost. Outside-of-campus visits do have copays, though. Continuing, she touched on the topic of medical-related campus absences. Essentially, if you’re missing classes or absent from school for a medical reason, you’re still entitled to your Columbia Plan. Personal leaves, however, are not compatible with the Columbia Plan. Finally, she highlighted that the Plan does cover students who are studying abroad. In the Q&A that followed, we learned that students who have graduated continue to be on the Plan until August of that year. When coverage terminates, students must seek a Termination of Coverage letter so that they may enroll in another health care plan. Also, the university requires that all international students be enrolled in a Columbia policy or a policy that conforms with the Affordable Care Act. This is because Columbia has found that international students were, in general, underinsured by American standards. Being an adult is fun, huh?

Handing the mic to Bonnie, the discussion shifted to the Naloxone (the life-saving drug used in cases of opioid overdose) training program and its success. Columbia is one of only 5 American colleges to employ this training. Interestingly, the Columbia community was consulted and determined that opioid misuse was not an issue on campus, but the training would be very appreciated nonetheless, as many students pursuing medicine could benefit from the education. Over 700 students have been trained so far. Also, kits are always available for no charge. It’s important to remember that like any other medication, Naloxone expires and needs to be replaced periodically. A point was brought up to Bonnie that Naloxone has been found to actually enable future opioid use in those to whom it is administered. Granted, this was simply anecdotal and whether or not that claim is true is unclear. Bonnie responded by asserting that a life saved is a life saved no matter what and that the chance of future usage is a much lesser evil than a life lost.

Now, moving onto Campus Life and something a little more lighthearted: an update on the Halloween party. The update is that it was successful. Moving on, there was mentioned a Finance event coming up. It’s an event to promote financial literacy in the GS community. Food provided!

Next, Senior announcements. There’s a senior class logo in the works! Notably, there’s not too much GS iconography, which has caused some struggle in the creation of this logo. “It’s important to have a visual reminder of who we are,” marks the senior class representative.

The first-year/senior class luncheon is next Friday at noon. Awe, bonding activities! And food (from Westside Market).

It wouldn’t be a GSSC meeting without some money being allocated for some food. Are you a dual-degree GS student? Keep an eye out for some fun bonding events, evidently with food, coming up soon.

Finally, there was some drama regarding financial allocations, as those things tend to cause drama. The details escape me, but rest assured, GSSC is keeping you in good hands.

This was a dense meeting, and I think I’m going to never look at a computer screen again. Godspeed, Bwog readers.

Bellerophon via Columbia Law School