Some young alumni make certain they
have no gaps in coverage after they leave
Carolina. Phillip Scott ’03, for instance,
bought an individual policy that would
take effect immediately after graduation. “I
have a history of some pretty extensive
medical conditions,” Scott says. “I knew the
importance of being covered.” He found a
job right away on a newspaper, but it didn’t
offer benefits, and he continued paying for
his own coverage until he started a marketing job in New Jersey in July. “I know
from a few years’ experience that health
insurance is not cheap to pay for myself.
Having an employer do that not only
saves me money but takes a burden off
Wiley, still self-employed and traveling extensively to perform his six plays
all over the country, now buys a high-deductible policy that’s attached to a
health savings account. “I can put
money in and the IRS can’t touch
that,” he says. “My wife would kill me if I
didn’t have insurance.”
— Kathleen Kearns
A Strategy for Health
“You can’t be a productive professional unless you’re a healthy human
being,” points out Devetta Holman Nash ’ 79, associate director for Counseling
and Wellness Services at UNC. After graduation, young alumni often take full
responsibility for the first time for their health coverage and health decisions.
“There are not as many safety nets as there have been when you were at home
or at university,” Nash says. Counseling and Wellness Services offers programs
to help students see the long-term ramifications of present health behaviors.
Nash, who received her master’s in public health from Carolina in 1985, says
she hopes that alumni carry that awareness with them when they graduate.
“On campus, you have a class schedule that you pre-register for a semester ahead,” she says. “Now that you have left the academic realm, the same
strategy is a good tool for you to use in life. A strategy for life has to be,
first and foremost, a game plan for how you’re going to proceed for health
and wellness — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”
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