Reform Law Causing Students, Insurers To Examine College Health Plans
Colleges are saying the new health law could keep them from offering low-cost, limited benefit student health insurance plans, "and they're seeking federal authority to continue offering them," Kaiser Health News reports. "Without a number of changes, it may be impossible 'to continue to offer student health plans,' says an Aug. 12 letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from the American Council on Education and signed by 12 other trade associations representing colleges." Some say such plans allow colleges to keep insurance costs down for students, but others say the coverage offered doesn't give sufficient protection. In addition, annual caps, like those in many student health plans, are barred by the new health law, starting in 2014" (Appleby, 8/19).
In a consumer story directed at college students, USA Today reports: "Without adequate health insurance, an accident or serious illness could saddle you with thousands of dollars in medical bills and force you to drop out of school. And even if you think you're invincible, you may not have a choice: 30% of colleges and universities require students to have health insurance as a condition of enrollment, according to a 2008 study by the Government Accountability Office." In addition to staying on their parents' plans or buying school health insurance, college students may also buy their own individual market plans, which can be cheaper for young, healthy adults (Block, 8/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.