College and University Student Health Plans Must Comply With Health Care Reform

Any uncertainty about whether college and universities would have to comply with the new health care law ended last week when the Department of Health and Human Services made clear that college health insurance plans must comply with major provisions of the health care reform law.

Initially, colleges were exempt from the law as limited benefit plans that were only provided for a short term.  Many, such as the American College Health Association, lobbied to have the exemption made permanent.  They argued that the proposed changes would make insurance too expensive for students. 

The government was not persuaded.  Instead, beginning in January 2012 college health insurance plans must comply with the law, provide coverage for students with pre-existing conditions and remove benefit ceilings.