WASHINGTON — Colleges and universities say that some rules in the new health law could keep them from offering low-cost, limited-benefit student insurance policies, and they’re seeking federal authority to continue offering them.
Their request drew immediate fire from critics, however, who say that student health plans should be held to the same standards that other insurance is.
Among other things, the colleges want clarification that they won’t have to offer the policies to non-students.
Without a number of changes, it may be impossible to continue to offer student health plans, says a letter that the American Council on Education sent Aug. 12 to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, signed by 12 other trade associations that represent colleges.
Additionally, the colleges say that some provisions of the law don’t apply to their policies, including those that require insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their revenue on medical care and that bar them from setting annual coverage caps.
Many of the provisions at issue don’t go into effect until 2014, but the colleges say they need clarity soon because they’re negotiating long-term contracts with insurers now.
Student health plans should absolutely be held to the same standards: no carve-outs. Everyone should have to live with the consequences of this atrocious piece of legislation until it is repealed.
Besides: “Kids” can just stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26.