The guidelines offered by GradGuard, which they market in partnership with around 400 universities, in particular exclude student de-registrations due to an epidemic. But the company’s insurance partner, Allianz, has chosen to cover medical withdrawal symptoms due to the coronavirus, said John Fees, GradGuard co-founder and chief executive officer.
An update attached to the insurance information on GradGuard’s website dated February 12, states that “for the time being, although this is not covered by most plans, we are currently considering claims in the event that an insured student is leaves school completely for the insured period due to dismissal suffers from Covid-19. “
GradGuard’s guidelines will continue to cover withdrawals from students developing Covid in the upcoming academic year, Mr Fees said. He didn’t want to say how many such claims the company’s policies paid for. And he found that the guidelines didn’t cover withdrawals just because a school switched from face-to-face to distance learning. (Some families sued colleges and universities that had switched, claiming that distance learning was either inferior or not what they were promised. The lawsuits had mixed results.)
Insurance would likely cover a student who withdrew due to a psychological diagnosis related to the coronavirus, Mr Fees said. The guidelines require that a licensed psychiatrist examine the student and advise the withdrawal. (In the past, withdrawal symptoms for psychological reasons required documented hospitalization, but that’s no longer the case, Mr Fees said.)
Eden Schiano, a 19-year-old from Virginia Beach, said her family was relieved that she took out student insurance with GradGuard when she enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University last fall. Ms. Schiano had been treated for an eating disorder, she said, and her family were concerned about college requirements and the possible loss of funds if she were to retire.
Ms. Schiano was determined to leave, however, and her doctor recommended study insurance. According to GradGuard, the family paid $ 180 for $ 10,000 of coverage. (Typically, the cost of coverage is 1.06 percent or 1.8 percent per $ 10,000, depending on your college.)
On campus, Ms. Schiano struggled to juggle distance learning and eat regular meals and began to lose weight, she said. Her doctor advised her to withdraw, which she did in October. The policy payout allowed her to regroup, she said, and she is now preparing to enroll in community college this fall.