ObamaCare may end student health-care insurance at colleges

posted at 3:35 pm on August 25, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After what happened in North Carolina, this may not be seen as a bad development, but it’s indicative of what happens in top-down “reforms.”  Colleges and universities want a waiver from the stringent exchange requirements for offering health insurance, as the coverage mandates make it too expensive to offer their students (via QandO):

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.

Universities usually offer some form of health insurance to students, but those policies fit the needs of young adults, who generally don’t access the health care system nearly as much as older adults.  They have smaller networks, as students generally stay within a small geographic area.  Premiums are lower because of the low risk, but also because some comprehensive services don’t get fully covered, usually those accessed by people in middle age or older.  In short, the policies are tailored to the clientele, which is why pricing can be more efficient.

In ObamaCare, policies can no longer be tailored to clientele, nor can consumers make choices that best fit their lives.  All policies must look mainly alike, thanks to the top-down command “reforms” in ObamaCare, which mandate coverages regardless of risk or need.  Needless to say, a comprehensive policy designed to cover Americans in their 50s would be vastly unnecessary for almost everyone who attends college in their youth, and vastly more expensive than they can afford.

Thus, universities and colleges have a conundrum.  They can either offer policies that are so expensive that only a few can afford to buy them, which creates all sorts of problems in managing a risk pool, or they can simply get out of the health-insurance business altogether.  They won’t be the last to choose the latter.


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Smart Power

400lb Gorilla on August 25, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Students don’t need coverage for office visits, as they can go to the student health service for free. Some also have frequently-prescribed generic prescriptions for the students for $5.00 or so.

Wethal on August 25, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Maybe someone should have read that bill before they voted for it? Nah! They can trust their puppetmasters authors.

stonemeister on August 25, 2010 at 3:39 PM

It’s alright, all those young Obama voters are getting “free” healthcare from what they tell me, so it should be all fine! Unicorns all around!

Wineaholic on August 25, 2010 at 3:40 PM

I thought college students could remain on the parents’ policies until they are 26.

Dhuka on August 25, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Guess all them young folks that voted for this dummie wasn’t n Shcool

Bwahahahahahahahahaha

roflmao

donabernathy on August 25, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Smell the Change ™

Mason on August 25, 2010 at 3:41 PM

But—-But—-But—-We can still keep our Health Care provider—right???

dirtseller on August 25, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Supposed college student crr6:

“Uhhhh….count on it?”

Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Get those new IRS agents to arrest thousands of uninsured college students for having no insurance. The enrollment drop will do wonders for university pricing.

Vashta.Nerada on August 25, 2010 at 3:45 PM

If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.

rjoco1 on August 25, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Mwahahaha!!!!!! Dumb kids, take that! Next time, try voting for the boring old cracker with some business sense. Is there a word for self-ownage?

abobo on August 25, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Colleges generally do not manage “risk pools” for students. They staff a student health center and contract with a business that sells the limited benefit student policies. Student policies are generally expensive for what one gets.

Student policies probably wouldn’t exist if the colleges didn’t require health insurance for enrollment. Which they shouldn’t–education is expensive enough without a clueless college administrator saying that your $5,000 deductible doesn’t meet the college requirements for credible coverage, a common occurrence when health savings account plans were first passed, and demanding that you ante up or be kicked out.

secant on August 25, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Hope and Change for thee but not for me. He he.

year_of_the_dingo on August 25, 2010 at 3:48 PM

It’s not a big deal…. Hahvahd can just dip into its Endowment, right? Because they are all about sharing the wealth, right?

Vanceone on August 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM

I’m not even sure I can fully comprehend the devastation this bill will wreck if it isn’t repealed before it goes into effect.

Count to 10 on August 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM

I thought college students could remain on the parents’ policies until they are 26.

Dhuka on August 25, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Actually, it is all children up to age 26 (college attendence not necessary). However, it is a moot point if the parents don’t have healthcare policies.

sirnapsalot on August 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM

This is not that difficult. Simply bundle the cost of mandated student health insurance into the government sponsored student loan. Then, after the student graduates, he/she goes to work for the federal government for five years wherein the entire loan is forgiven.

Said student then continues to work for the government, with all the perks of civil service (including health care) until retirement at age fifty on an 80% pension (with annual cost of living increases).

Sheesh!

pain train on August 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM

To all the other college students who voted for this idiot:

Yuck Foo.

Dark-Star on August 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Student policies probably wouldn’t exist if the colleges didn’t require health insurance for enrollment. Which they shouldn’t–education is expensive enough without a clueless college administrator saying that your $5,000 deductible doesn’t meet the college requirements for credible coverage, a common occurrence when health savings account plans were first passed, and demanding that you ante up or be kicked out.

secant on August 25, 2010 at 3:48 PM

From what I heard, the requirement for insurance was basically a scam to set up so that university funding sources would also have to pony up for health insurance.

Count to 10 on August 25, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Count it!

lorien1973 on August 25, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Supposed college student crr6:

“Uhhhh….count on it?”

Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Where has he/she been lately? Pretty much zero commenting in the past fews days. Kicked out of 1st year law possibly?

Johnnyreb on August 25, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Some colleges require you to have health insurance and they are able to make that requirement reasonable by being able to offer low cost plans. Will they drop that requirement? Or will they just be sticking it to all the kids like they already do with ridiculously high tuition?

strictnein on August 25, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Students don’t need coverage for office visits, as they can go to the student health service for free. Some also have frequently-prescribed generic prescriptions for the students for $5.00 or so.

Wethal on August 25, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Nothing’s free, as its a part of the tuition you pay at any university. That being said, it’s not “free” at all colleges. I went to one school where I could visit and it didn’t cost me anything at that time, then transferred to another where a sprained ankle cost me $100.

Nothing is ever “free”……..

Sponge on August 25, 2010 at 3:55 PM

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.

It’s almost as if it’s better for health care plans to be tailored to a person’s needs. Wonder if supporters of ObamaCare will engage in Brooksian metacognition …

Bill Ramey on August 25, 2010 at 3:55 PM

It’s not a big deal….

Vanceone on August 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Yes it is! According to Biden, it’s a “big f**king deal.

UltimateBob on August 25, 2010 at 3:55 PM

if you like our president you can keep our president.

reliapundit on August 25, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Meh. this is one section in a long, long line of horrible ideas coming from this supposed help to health care.
Try to figure out what the F***ing F*** they’re talking about when you’re trying to implement their “brilliant” ideas over the past few months while trying to explain to people that suing insurers for “free health care” is probably a waste of time and money….

Yeah, this is my life now.

mjk on August 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Johnnyreb on August 25, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Probation rescinded.

Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Is there a word for self-ownage?

abobo on August 25, 2010 at 3:45 PM

“Sown.” As in, “You’ve reaped what you’ve SOWN!”

CurtZHP on August 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM

We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.

El_Terrible on August 25, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Some also have frequently-prescribed generic prescriptions for the students for $5.00 or so.

Wethal on August 25, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Under Obamacare, we can expect that number to “necessarily skyrocket”

VibrioCocci on August 25, 2010 at 4:00 PM

I’d love to see the universities (and all the private health insurers for that matter) defy Obama and continue to issue policies as they always have.

Buy Danish on August 25, 2010 at 4:01 PM

“No no no, sorry, one size fits all, sorry…”

Akzed on August 25, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Sooo . . . how long before student protests begin at UC Berkley on account of this?

Stay tuned!

listens2glenn on August 25, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Speaking of “top-down,” Ed, isn’t it interesting that Barry, mister bottom-up grassroots community organizer has such a wicked sweet tooth for top-down, command-and-control reforms? Shocka!

Christien on August 25, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Good lord, this piece of legislative jackassery has more holes and is stinkier than year old swiss cheese.

What a total goat roap.

Least competent, least able, least responsive Congress ever, it’s not even remotely close.

Every Democrat currently serving deserves to be thrown bodily out of Congress by enraged voters, be herded on trains to El Paso then be forcibly deported across the border into Juarez.

NoDonkey on August 25, 2010 at 4:05 PM

The solution is obvious. Just have the IRS charge the lawbreaking students’ parents a $750 fine for not purchasing their kid’s insurance. Problem solved.

unclesmrgol on August 25, 2010 at 4:07 PM

This is a good thing. It’s about time that racket was ended. When I was in college, I had to have my own/parents insurance, I had to buy insurance in addition to that (from the college, oh yeah), and I also had to pay a separate health fee (to the college again).

As a parent of college kids, I see the same old money grab. My kids are insured, they didn’t need all the extra (unused) policies, but I had to pony up anyway.

MassVictim on August 25, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Those policies are not redistributive. What good is that?

tommylotto on August 25, 2010 at 4:09 PM

I’ll bet the next thing we learn about Obamacare is that the government considers college students who pay their own tuition to be “employers” of the faculty, and therefore must make heath care insurance packages available to them.

liberty0 on August 25, 2010 at 4:09 PM

This is not on topic—however, Obama has been quoted as having a great vacation. In our face, you anti-American Pres.

mobydutch on August 25, 2010 at 4:13 PM

mobydutch on August 25, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Of course he’s had a great vacation.

He makes $400K a year +, which is small compared to the $5 milllion in perks and bennies he gets.

He vacations where ever and whenever he wants.

He doesn’t do dick at work and the few things he does, he screws up royally.

And the best part – we can’t fire this worthless, incompetent a-hole. He know he has this job for at least two more years.

At which time he’ll have made more than enough to retire into leisure in any case, while he travels around the world and makes $100K an hour, giving speeches where he’ll badmouth Americans and condemn our country.

He’s living the dream, boys and girls.

NoDonkey on August 25, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Ask yourself, wouldn’t we all be better off if the federal government was about 1/10 it’s current size?

tarpon on August 25, 2010 at 4:25 PM

No big deal for Obama. The universities will just add the extra health insurance cost to their tuition, and since ObamaCare mandates that all student loans come from the Government, that will give Obama even MORE control over the students and their parents.

It’s all about the O. It always was.

Steve Z on August 25, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Once pot is completely legal they’ll never notice this happened.

TugboatPhil on August 25, 2010 at 4:27 PM

if you sign up to an ‘older person’ policy later in life, wouldn’t it cost you much more?

Phoenician on August 25, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Ask yourself, wouldn’t we all be better off if the federal government was about 1/10 it’s current size?

tarpon on August 25, 2010 at 4:25 PM

My answer to that question, as well as (probably) yours, would be “Hell yes.”

The 53% who voted for 0bama, now that’s a different story.

UltimateBob on August 25, 2010 at 4:30 PM

A lot of colleges have their own clinics for minor things. These top down mandates are going to make things worse.

roux on August 25, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Colleges and universities want a waiver from the stringent exchange requirements for offering health insurance, as the coverage mandates make it too expensive to offer their students

Obamacare outcome: MORE uninsured individuals, not less.

DrStock on August 25, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Their request drew immediate fire from critics, however…

Here we go: Obama’s dream of every person in America having to beg him for favors.

PattyJ on August 25, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Where are the parents?

Inanemergencydial on August 25, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Actually, it is all children up to age 26 (college attendence not necessary). However, it is a moot point if the parents don’t have healthcare policies.

sirnapsalot on August 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Um, mandate. All parents will have healthcare policies.

TheLoyalOpponent on August 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Another in a continuing series of ‘unintended consequences’. Guess this happens when you don’t take the time to properly debate and research a far-reaching law.

Hell, it would have been nice if they’d just taken the time to READ it.

Your “leadership” is without equal, Nancy!

GarandFan on August 25, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Supposed college student crr6:
“Uhhhh….count on it?”
Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Where has he/she been lately? Pretty much zero commenting in the past fews days. Kicked out of 1st year law possibly?
Johnnyreb on August 25, 2010 at 3:53 PM

She was kicked out of Pretend 1st year law school – an even bigger body blow to an up-and-coming oppressive democrat operative.

Chip on August 25, 2010 at 5:39 PM

This is really going to hurt the graduate students who also fall under university student plans and who are at usually at some point going to be over 26. They are far more radical and Obama-loving than the college students, since they are being trained to be the future faculty and have to toe the line.

bekarlss on August 25, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Said student then continues to work for the government, with all the perks of civil service (including health care) until retirement at age fifty on an 80% pension (with annual cost of living increases).

pain train on August 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I understand your frustration but your scenario is hyperbole. Don’t retire at 50, employees pay significan portion of health care, don’t get 80% and COLA is based on inflation.

katiejane on August 25, 2010 at 6:20 PM

I’ve been reading HotAir religiously for well over a year now, and I really enjoy reading everyone’s insightful comments…well, most of the time. It really irritates me when I consistently read jabs at young people and college students, when not all of us voted for this travesty of an administration. Do us young conservatives a favor and don’t assume we’re all willfully ignorant. :-)

I’m a second year law student, and my school doesn’t offer free office visits. There’s a $20 fee to go in for anything – even if it’s as small as getting a prescription for an antibiotic. I’m already deep in the hole for my education; the impact of this will destroy many students’ aspirations for higher education, as comprehensive insurance policies (which most of us don’t need!) are far too expensive.

I’ll keep hoping and praying the electorate wakes up in November, else my generation is screwed.

P.S. I can’t figure out how to put spaces between my paragraphs; regular HTML code doesn’t seem to be working. Any advice is greatly appreciated! *apologizes in advance if this is painfully simplistic*

nmlaw2012 on August 25, 2010 at 8:39 PM

I take that back, the preview lied. There are spaces. :-)

nmlaw2012 on August 25, 2010 at 8:39 PM

I wonder how many thousand more UNINTENDED consequences we will get from this health care bill?

To be fair, it was more than 2400 pages. No one should have been expected to read it, and as we have seen, they did not. Comprehending all of the various nuances in such a bill was not going to stop the vote!

To all here that think it is not possible to repeal this bill next year, you need to consider that it will impact people in ALL districts in terrible ways. There will be hundreds of ‘updates’ to this monstrosity of a bill pending in congress in no time at all. This will be followed by a veto proof majority that wants it repealed!

Freddy on August 25, 2010 at 9:44 PM

Freddy, one other consequence is the reduction in the amount you will be able to set aside in your Flexible Spending Account pre-tax. Traditionally, the law has been set up for a family to set aside $5,000 per year to be taken out of your paycheck pre-tax. Come 2013 when the Healthcare Law goes into effect, you will only be able to set aside $2,500 per year pre-tax. So, your taxable income will go up.

serpentineshel on August 25, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Mwahahaha!!!!!! Dumb kids, take that! Next time, try voting for the boring old cracker with some business sense. Is there a word for self-ownage?

abobo on August 25, 2010 at 3:45 PM

My first thought as well.

Nathan_OH on August 26, 2010 at 10:18 AM