ASUC urges chancellor to abandon UC SHIP in straw poll

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In an unofficial straw poll, ASUC senators unanimously indicated interest in pulling out of the UC Student Health Insurance Plan and moving UC Berkeley to its own campus-provided insurance.

UC SHIP, which is run through the UC Office of the President, is projected to have a cumulative $46.5 million deficit by the end of the 2012-13 plan year, prompting the possibility of student premium increases, according to Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab, who spearheaded the straw poll, in an email.

“Given that SHIP info has been changing so rapidly (new info comes out or UCOP scenarios change) we don’t have time to run a new survey for every new change,” Navab said. “So instead, we gauged what the senators wanted as representatives of the student body given the latest options.”

The poll will be included in a memo to be sent to the chancellor along with recommendations for what the campus should do next year, according to Navab.

“I think that they have shown that (the UC Office of the President is) unable to properly manage UC-wide SHIP, and we need to reclaim agency of our own decision-making with regards to student health plans,” said CalSERVE Senator Daley Vertiz.

The vote indicates interest in recommending to the chancellor that UC Berkeley pull out of UC SHIP and enter its own fully funded plan. Furthermore, it recommends that chancellors across the system hire a third-party firm to formally investigate UCOP’s alleged mismanagement UC SHIP.

“I believe that (investigating mismanagement) is a necessary step to hold UCOP accountable, identify the deficiencies in oversight that led to this mess and develop concrete changes that will prevent future mismanagement,” said CalSERVE Senator Nolan Pack.

Ally Rondoni is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that UC SHIP is projected to have a cumulative $57 million deficit by the end of 2012-13. In fact, an updated projection reports a total deficit of $46.5 million.