College Tuition Sparked a Mental Health Crisis. Then the Hefty Hospital Bill Arrived.


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Despite a lifelong struggle with panic attacks, Divya Singh made a brave move across the world last fall from her home in Mumbai, India. She enrolled at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, to study physics and explore an interest in standup comedy in Manhattan.

Arriving in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic and isolated in her dorm room, Singh’s anxiety ballooned when her family had trouble coming up with the money for a $16,000 tuition installment. Hofstra warned her she would have to vacate the dorm after the term ended if she was not paid up. At one point, she ran into obstacles transferring money onto her campus meal card.

“I’m a literally broke college student that didn’t have money for food,” she recalled. “At that moment of panic, I didn’t want

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New California Law Makes It Easier to Get Care for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

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Karen Bailey’s 20-year-old daughter has struggled with depression and anxiety for years. Since 2017, she’s been in three intensive group therapy programs and, each time, the family’s insurer cut her coverage short, says Bailey.

“At a certain point, they would send us a form letter saying: We have determined that she is all better, it’s no longer necessary, so we are not covering it anymore,” says Bailey, 59, who lives in Los Angeles. “And believe me, she was not all better. In one case, she was worse.”

In making coverage decisions about mental health and addiction treatment, insurers frequently use “their own kind of black box criteria, not knowable to enrollees and not consistent with standards of care,” says Julie Snyder, director of government affairs at the Steinberg Institute, a Sacramento-based mental health policy and advocacy group.

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DeSantis Advances Questionable Link Between Lockdowns and Despair

The result of lockdowns “has been the destruction of millions of lives across America as well as increased deaths from suicide, substance abuse and despair without any corresponding benefit in covid mortality.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Feb. 2, 2020

For months, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has boasted about his state’s “open for business” strategy in dealing with covid-19 and how it’s working better than so-called lockdown states.


This story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. It can be republished for free.

Unlike in some other states, all Florida public schools are open for in-person learning, restaurants and bars have few restrictions, and the state has barred local governments from penalizing individuals for not wearing a mask in public.

In a recent rant against social network companies such as Facebook and Twitter, DeSantis suggested that states that had instituted heavy restrictions on residents experienced severe

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