New Regulation Extends Consumer Protections to Student Health Plans

by Rebecca Farley on February 8, 2011

A new regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services extends many of the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections to student health plans. Under the regulation, insurance coverage offered through colleges and universities must comply with several of the most critical insurance requirements under health reform, including:

  • No Lifetime Limits on Coverage: Insurance companies cannot impose lifetime dollar limits on the amount they spend on health benefits in student health plans.
  • Restrictions on Annual Coverage Limits: Annual limits cannot be less than $100,000 until Sept. 23, 2012. At that time, student health plans will have to fully comply with health reform’s prohibition on annual limits.
  • No Arbitrary Rescissions of Insurance Coverage: Insurance companies cannot drop coverage when student health plan enrollees get sick because of an unintentional mistake on an application.
  • No Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Students Under Age 19:  Insurance companies cannot deny or exclude coverage for students under age 19 because of a pre-existing condition.

HHS has issued a fact sheet for students about these new requirements. The full text of the regulation is available online.

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