May, 15, 2015

New Issue Brief on Student Health Plan Regulation

Student health plans have long been a source of coverage for college students who do not have other options available. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services redefined student health plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), requiring that they be treated like individual health insurance. This means that students buying these plans through their college or university now have the same protections available to them as if they bought a plan in the individual market. It also means that states and the federal government have a new role in oversight of these plans.

With over one million students covered by student health plans, states should consider how to best ensure that these plans provide comprehensive coverage as the ACA intended. For instance, student plans should provide full coverage for preventive services without cost-sharing, they should not include any lifetime or annual limits on coverage, and they should not exclude any services if someone has a pre-existing condition.

Our experts at Georgetown give a primer on this topic and the interplay between federal and state regulation of student health plans in a new issue brief available here.