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Heading to Grad School Without Health Insurance

Alanna Miller of College Park

Alanna Miller, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, has no health insurance. (Newsline photo by Mike Santa Rita)

Maryland Newsline
Tuesday, April 12, 2005

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Alanna Miller is hoping for a career in academia, teaching film and television studies.

Currently, sheís looking at that future without health insurance.

In January, a few weeks after graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Maryland, the 22-year-old was dropped from her fatherís health insurance plan because she was no longer a student.

The Raleigh, N.C., native now works between 30 and 35 hours a week as an administrative assistant for the university's College of Journalism.

Because she's paid on an hourly basis, Miller does not qualify for health insurance, said Joyce Hutton,  coordinator for the college's business and finance office.

But she has prescriptions that need filling.

She said birth control pills cost her $35 a month, sleeping pills $20 a month. Luckily her migraine pills havenít run out yet. She said she's not sure what their cost will be.

She said her parents have been helping her out financially since she graduation, but she still has car payments and car insurance to pay.

Regular doctor's checkups and gynecologist visits are coming up.

Luckily, she has not had to confront the question of hospital bills.

Audio:

Alanna Miller talks about getting her father's advice on health insurance, (28.8 seconds, RealPlayer needed)

ďI havenít gotten sick yet,Ē she said.

Her college classes convinced her that reporting was not her field. She was recently accepted to Syracuse University's graduate school where she may go to study film theory and television studies. She has also been accepted at the University of Miami's graduate school. Once she enrolls in grad school, she said she may sign up for a college health plan, but she is not  certain.

ďIím not sure what Iím going to do,Ē she said.

In the mean time, for Miller, getting health insurance may involve slinging coffee.

ďI hear they give excellent health benefits at Starbucks, which Iíve actually looked into,Ē she said.

-- By Mike Santa Rita

Copyright © 2005 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism


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