Health and Human Services changes spell relief for students

General News Student Life

Students will no longer have to worry about losing their health insurance if they become critically ill.

A new regulation, proposed by the Health and Human Services, ensures students the right to have insurance if they are enrolled in college, even if they become sick or are in an accident. Under the new rule, insurance companies cannot deny coverage for students under the age of 19 because of a pre-existing condition and they cannot drop coverage because a student gets sick.

Director of Center for Consumer Information Steve Larsen suggests this rule is needed because students stress over many things already. By taking away the panic of losing insurance, students now have less to worry about.

“Too many college students weren’t worried about finding a job, they were also worrying about finding health insurance,” Larsen said.
This rule can also save money. Larsen believes families making $65,000 a year will save close to $6,000. Students can also stay on their parent’s plans until they are 26 years old.

Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Young Invincible Aaron Smith agrees with Larsen.”Profits on these plans can be 20 percent or higher,” Smith said. He also said that the old regulation was an unfair practice because students could be released without getting any help. Under the new regulations, students will no longer have to worry about being released without some type of aid in finding replacement insurance.

“In a random survey of nine colleges and universities around the country, we found that eight currently have some exclusion clause where students suffering from a pre-existing condition,” Smith said. “These exclusions put the binding on those who need insurance the most.”
Steven Bloom, of the American council on education, says that they are the umbrella organizing the insurances and education together, though he knows that finding the solution is not over.

“I am a little concerned that insurers may use these regulations as a pretext to inappropriately raise premiums,” Bloom said. “Increases to some schools for insurance plans.”
Nonetheless, now students should be able to get the insurance they need to help them throughout college. Larson said this is their time now that they can finally afford to buy it all.

“For many students, this is their only opportunity,” Larson said.

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