It seems that every day we learn about more and more of Obamacare’s “unintended” consequences brought to light now that, paraphrasing Nancy Pelosi, we have passed the bill and can see what’s in it. This time, the outcry is coming from colleges and universities.
The recent uproar has to do with student health plans that are offered at most colleges. These are group plans tailored by the schools to cover those attending the school. By and large they are very inexpensive because they cover primarily young, healthy individuals, and because the primary vehicle to provide medical care is the campus health clinic staffed by employees of the university. Should more critical care be necessary, it is generally provided at the university’s medical school’s (if they have a medical school) teaching hospital.
Along comes Obamacare and all of these student health plans suddenly are in danger of becoming extinct. It is highly unlikely that these plans will meet the new “minimum essential coverage” requirements of Obamacare. That’s the part where the Secretary of Health and Human Services gets to decide what must be in your health care plan in order for it to be deemed a “qualified” plan.
Should she decide that to be qualified a plan must include, for example, in vitro fertilization, or, hair transplants, or, tattoo removal, the plans will become ridiculously expensive. And, what about the edict that insurers must take all who apply. Must the university continue to cover students who have graduated? That, too, will drive up the cost.
It doesn’t help that the regulations governing student health plans are as carelessly written as the rest of the bill, and the uncertainty is holding up insurance contracts and plan design for the coming academic year. Not surprisingly, the colleges are asking federal regulators for a blanket ObamaCare waiver.
Too bad we can’t do the same.