15 February 2011

Student health insurance - new set of rules regulating health insurance

Student health insurance - new set of rules regulating health insurance  : coverage for students has been proposed to protect students from being denied coverage under various circumstances. The Department of Health and Human Services announced a new regulation will ensure students have the insurance consumer rights granted by the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday.

The proposed regulations would ensure there are no caps on coverage amounts for students and student coverage would not be dropped as a result of mistakes made by the student during the application process, according to a statement released by HHS.

Students would also be protected from being denied coverage due to a pre-existing conditions, the statement said. “This is the first time that student health insurance is being identified as an individual plan,” said Richard Simpson, manager of Student Health Insurance Plan at the University Wisconsin.

There are still areas that need clarification from HHS, said Simpson. Simpson said some of the regulations are not exactly clear, but HHS is accepting input from different health insurance programs at universities around the nation.

The only complaint in the past with student health insurance was that there needed to be more clarification, which students will receive after the input is incorporated into the new rules, Simpson said.

The Affordable Care Act has always covered students, Executive Director of University Health Services Sarah Van Orman said, but this is the first time regulations have been released about student coverage. “Lack of health insurance is a big issue for students that are uninsured and who come from parents that are uninsured,” Van Orman said.

Most students buy the SHIP plan at UW if they are uninsured, Van Orman said. Compared to other universities, UW has a considerably high quality insurance plan available for students, Van Orman said. She added that the insurance plan UW offers is non-profit and exists only to serve students.

“It’s important to recognize there will always be students who don’t have coverage and need student health care plans available,” Van Orman said.

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