National 20somethings group plans to offer variety of student services

By Hollie Costello
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 9, 1996

Twentysomethings now have an association that will look out for their interests while helping them to make the transition from college to the "real world."

Jennifer Klein, 26, founded the National Association of Twentysomethings after learning no current group was watching out for the interests of 20- to 29-year-olds.

The association, called NAT, is located in Washington, D.C., so Klein and her group of volunteers can deal with Congress and legislation one-on-one. While NAT is not yet a registered lobbyist group, Klein, a New York University graduate, wants 20-somethings to know someone in Washington is working for them.

"We will try to find key issues (in Congress), " Klein said. "NAT will keep the members informed on what Congress is doing."

At the University of Arizona, students have two lobbying groups working for their interests. The Arizona Students Association and the National Association for Graduate and Professional Students both deal with the state and national legislatures for students' best interests.

"We represent Arizona students," said Greg Jemson, an ASA representative. "So there is a market for (NAT's) kind of group."

NAT will offer services beyond the original lobbyist group. Health insurance, a job center, a resume bank and financial planning are going to be available to anyone who sends in a $10 annual fee. So far there are about 100 members, Klein said.

"I would be interested in (NAT), " said Erin Bugge, 20, a pre-education sophomore. "The people in Congress who are representing [students] probably don't know what they are talking about."

"I would only use the health care if they offered holistic care," said Krishna Porter, 27, a religious studies major. " I might use the job and resume center."

Klein decided to offer health care as a perk of the association when she lost her job and realized she was no longer covered by insurance. People between the ages of 20 to 29 may not be covered by family insurance and may be in a temporary position that does not offer health insurance. The association will try to match up 20-somethings with a health care plan that can cover them best.

The UA does offer health insurance, called Partners, to undergraduate students registered for five or more units and to graduate students. With Partners, the Campus Health Center is the primary care giver, but other care is covered when it is a referral from Campus Health, said Joyce Meder, a clinic administrator at Campus Health.

"You can't have to pay to see a doctor or nurse practitioner but there is a $10 co-pay for specialists," Meder said. "You are also covered when traveling home and while home over breaks." However, Partners ends its coverage when students graduate, unless they sign up for a graduate program.

NAT has a variety of different insurance coverage so they can try to cover anyone between the ages of 20 and 29.

"If the member is interested, they call the association and we determine with them the kind of coverage they need," Klein said.

Klein began NAT with $2,000 of her own money and requests annual dues to keep the association running. She is looking for a grant that will cover her expenses of printing and mailings.

Klein said she wants to go on line before she branches out across the country so she can gauge the interest NAT may generate. Currently, she is relying on newspaper articles, mailings to colleges, and word of mouth.

"I am full time, but there are no full-time workers," Klein said. "Everyone who works for us has another job."