Sorry, Students! Colleges Cease Offering Student Health Insurance Because of ObamaCare

College students who like their health insurance plans may not be able to keep them, reports The Wall Street Journal. A number of higher education institutions have chosen either to cease offering health plans to students or have informed students that they should "expect sharp premium increases because of a provision in the federal health law requiring plans to beef up coverage."

The Journal's report leaves no doubt as to the cause of the change: "The demise of low-cost, low-benefit health plans for students is a consequence of the 2010 health-care overhaul." The article tells the story of how one college administrator decided to stop offering inexpensive, capped-payout plans to his school's students:

Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., this past year offered a 12-month plan that cost students $445, while capping payouts at $10,000. For the 2012-13 academic year, the Obama administration said the payout cap must be at least $100,000. Bethany said students would have had to pay more than $2,000 to get that new level of coverage.

"We decided not to offer coverage for our students next year given the proposed increase in premium," said Bob Schmoll, Bethany's vice president for finance.

Mr. Schmoll said his school wished it could have kept the limited-coverage plan, which he said was a "fairly robust program for the type of need that most students of that age have." Even the old premium was "for many a struggle to pay," he said. Students previously had to sign up for the school's plan if they didn't have other insurance. Now students won't be required to have health coverage.

The new rules are likely to affect a broad swath of American colleges, particularly small ones. Some 60% of schools' plans had coverage of $50,000 or less for specific conditions, and almost all of the rest had some sort of payout caps that they will have to do away with by 2014, the GAO study found.

Several other schools have also announced that they will no longer offer certain student health plans as well, according to the article.

The Obama administration can't say they weren't warned about colleges dropping student health plans long in advance. In the summer of 2010, just a few months after the health law passed, the American Council on Education warned the White House that millions of student plans offered by schools could disappear thanks to the law. 

Instead, Health and Human Services representatives are arguing that those plans were so crappy they weren't worth keeping. "Given today's health system," the plans "wouldn't represent a good value," Michael Hash, director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, tells the Journal.

Those silly college kids! What were they thinking? They obviously didn't really want those low-cost health insurance plans. They just needed the Obama administration to help them understand that the plans were worthless junk. 

Others, however, are not so unfortunate to have administration health bureaucrats looking out for them. Even though HHS argues that the low-cost plans that are being pushed out of the market are so utterly lacking in value that there's no cause to be worried by their disappearance, the agency is also issuing special waivers allowing some organizations to continue offering the plans on a case-by-case basis. Back to the Journal:

Some unions and employers can still offer plans to lower-wage hourly workers that have limited benefits similar to those of the student plans, because they were given waivers by the administration allowing them to continue those plans until 2014. Schools can't apply for the same waivers for student plans.

A White House web page is still promising that the health law will help put Americans "in control of their health care," giving them "more choices" and making coverage "more affordable."

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Given today's health system," the plans "wouldn't represent a good value..."

    And who would know better about value for the millions of individual college students than that fuck?

  • niobiumstudio||

    I would have to say $445/year to meet the bare minimum to go to school (almost every school requires health insurance) and Obamacare mandate is a pretty awesome value. $10,000 is enough to cover the cost of alcohol poisoning, overdose and some VD's - really the only things (medically) a college student has to worry about...

  • T||

    When did schools start requiring health insurance? I never had it when I was an undergrad.

  • Brutus||

    It's not required, it's just available. Well, it used to be, at least.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It was required by both my schools, in the mid-late 2000's.

  • Rhywun||

    It was required at mine, in the early 90s.

  • fried wylie||

    I never had it when I was an undergrad.

    Obamacare will rectify that retroactive non-payment.

  • ||

    Required for me at both undergrad/law school private/state schools.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Unpossible!!!! In the immortal words of our dear leader:

    "First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."

    So it's clear what is happening here. Colleges have determined that students do not like their insurance plans. That is the only possible interpretation.

  • ||

    The Messiah's words still speak truth. The Government did not take away the plan. It was the evil (non-profit) Corporation that is Bethany College which is responsible.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Technically they will be able to keep their plan, it will just cost four times as much. So he wasn't exactly telling a lie there.

  • fried wylie||

    except, isn't "a plan" defined by a level of coverage and the cost to obtain that coverage?

    so, changing the cost changes "the plan".

  • Romulus Augustus||

    I hope there are Students for Liberty or Young Americans for Liberty chapters on these campuses telling the truth. Otherwise, the kids will blame the cancellations on greedy insurance companies and Dean Wormer instead of The Great One.

  • niobiumstudio||

    Too bad the "Colbert Super Pac" Kit didn't come with low-rent health insurance. I don't understand why someone in college needs $100,000 payout on health insurance. Lip burns from joints, alcohol poisoning, herpes, and stitches from the occasional broken bong will NEVER cost that much.

  • Killazontherun||

    I read too fast and clinched up when I thought I saw 'broken boner.'

  • niobiumstudio||

    That is also a valid medical concern for a college student... it's a real thing. A vigorous three way greatly increases the chances for it to happen (whether or not the other two participants show up!).

  • ||

    Yeah, you are basically bulletproof at that age, as a doctor friend of mine says.

  • niobiumstudio||

    What other age group can consistently do keg-stands three times a week and smoke half an ounce a week without any (apparent) ill-effect? When I was in college, we heard about anything where someone died/was seriously sick/hurt (only 6000 people at the entire school) and I can count on 1 hand the number of times a $100,000 payout would be needed the entire time I was there. Very stupid to require $100,000 in insurance.

  • ||

    Yeah, I had a classmate killed in a motorcycle accident--she was the passenger--but I can't recall anyone contracting cancer or in need of a triple bypass.

    But it seems to me that because it's such a healthy age that it shouldn't cost that much for a higher cap. I suspect distortions in the market are responsible for that.

  • ||

    I suspect distortions in the market are responsible for that.

    You win a Kewpie doll.

  • fried wylie||

    I had a classmate killed in a motorcycle accident

    Not really a health-insurance issue, is it? Or do hospitals just go ahead and run the corpse through the MRI/CAT just to get a piece of the action?

  • fried wylie||

    (working under the fairly reasonable assumption that she died on the scene.)

  • ||

    Not really a health-insurance issue, is it?

    PS didn't say if she was DOA or not.

  • fried wylie||

    Sry Groovus, I just couldn't pass up a chance to besmirch the reputation of your infinitely venerable profession.

  • ||

    Sry Groovus, I just couldn't pass up a chance to besmirch the reputation of your infinitely venerable profession.

    I don't take it personally from you, wylie. :-)

    Speaking of, there is that bill you owe me...and nothing is over my shoulder and you are out of Ninja smoke bombs...

  • fried wylie||

    Speaking of, there is that bill you owe me...and nothing is over my shoulder and you are out of Ninja smoke bombs...

    Get in line, right behind the radiology guys.

  • fried wylie||

    nothing is over my shoulder

    Aside from the DHHS.

  • ||

    Aside from the DHHS.

    I should have that taken care of before the end of the year.

  • ||

    It's better to be safe than sorry.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure she was DOA, Groovus. So no, I don't think she need the 100,000 dollar cap.

    It was a tragedy though, cause she was like the only hot chick in the EE building.

  • fried wylie||

    I'm pretty sure she was DOA

    My assumption stated above was based on the overwhelming lethality of motorcycle accidents. And the overwhelming likelihood that a hospital will run you through their most expensive equipment no matter what your condition.

  • ||

    And the overwhelming likelihood that a hospital will run you through their most expensive equipment no matter what your condition.

    That's not entirely true, but insurance cos., med mal leeches, and stategov laws (in addition to fedgov, such as EMTALA) basically require us to do so. This is also a direct result of Medicaid regs, and Medicare to a lesser degree.

    There is this thing called liability, wylie.

  • fried wylie||

    There is this thing called liability

    Amazing how it costs ME for you to cover YOUR ass.

  • ||

    Amazing how it costs ME for you to cover YOUR ass.

    My malpractice insurance doesn't pay for itself, wylie.

  • fried wylie||

    That's not entirely true, but insurance cos., med mal leeches, and stategov laws (in addition to fedgov, such as EMTALA) basically require us to do so.

    IOW, Procedures Were Followed.

  • ||

    IOW, Procedures Were Followed.

    Are you suggesting I should purposefully open myself to lawsuits and fines? I'm detecting some animosity here, wylie. Would you like me to turn in my medical license while I'm at it? Jeepers, I'm only leaving the US over this stupid law, it that good enough? I don't accept CMS for this reason, wylie. And when I was on ER call last weekend, patients are not turned away, simply put.

    Your beef isn't with doctors per se, it's the other folks who believe medical care is a "right". And may I also remind you no one forced you to avail yourself of medical care. I like you wylie, and I really don't want to have this argument with you.

    If you want to throw tomatoes and rubbish at me because you're mad at your situation, fine; don't blame me personally.

  • fried wylie||

    And may I also remind you no one forced you to avail yourself of medical care.

    Trust me, at this point I would have preferred to die. Need to get some DNR tags or something I guess.

  • ||

    Trust me, at this point I would have preferred to die. Need to get some DNR tags or something I guess.

    I'm really sorry to hear, wylie. I truly am. DPOA and DNR documentation for your state should be very easy to obtain. I suggest you Google them, and I recommend both for every person when legally able to do so.

  • mr simple||

    A co-worker recently told an interesting story: It seems his daughter was taken to the emergency room for something small (don't remember why) by a school or something. The nurse told them they needed to run a bunch of expensive tests. They decided she was fine and wanted to go. The nurse went grabbed a doc who told (threatened) them if they left they would be going against doctor's orders and the insurance company would deny the entire claim and they would have to pay for everything themselves (an obvious lie). They left. Insurance paid.

  • ||

    (an obvious lie)

    A very stupid one. We don't have control one way or the other if insurance or any other third party payer will pay a claim or not. Patients can leave any time they want, and it is their right to do so. This is charted as "Patient voluntarily DC'd exam and TX and exited facility AMA (against medical advice)" and describes with whom, when, etc. Apparently, the insurance company felt that paying the claim was merited, though an insurance company can use this rationale to deny a claim for patient non-compliance.

    Unless it's determined you are an imminent danger to yourself by observed behaviour or verbal affirmation, I can't hold you against your will. And my documentation will reflect that, rest assured.

  • niobiumstudio||

    And should that person who was killed in a motorcycle accident only be horribly maimed, the auto-insurance would have covered it - not the health insurance. It is pretty difficult to need a $100k in college for medical bills. Though, like you said no way it should cost 5x as much for a $100,000k cap than a $10,000 cap - especially since the need for it is exceedingly rare.

  • ||

    the auto-insurance would have covered it

    Provided that the operator had current, valid insurance.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Maybe Sandra Fluke needed $100k in contraception. She does speak for all female college students, doesn't she?

  • niobiumstudio||

    Uninsured motorists fund would cover it if he didn't (at least in states that have that).

  • ||

    Uninsured motorists fund would cover it if he didn't (at least in states that have that).

    Also true. However, the state in which the MVA occurred was not specified.

  • ||

    Like I'm going to divulge that I went to a cow college in Las Cruces, NM.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    In grad school I knew a girl in her late 20s who had a brain tumor.

    That's it. And I went to 4 very large schools (FSU, Miami-Dade, FIU, and UK).

  • ||

    I wouldn't go that far, but yes, men and women in the 18-26 range can take a quite a bit of bodily abuse.

    They're just big kids, right Obamney?

  • ||

    Yeah, he also told me stories about strapping guys dying from 'innocuous' TV wounds, like small caliber gunshot in the shoulder, etc.

  • ||

    Also possible, if an artery was nicked and/or an AB-resistant infection set in, not to mention if there were underlying conditions either unknown or were not related prior to the GSW. So, in peculiar cases, it's wise not to paint with a broad brush.

  • niobiumstudio||

    Shoulder shots are pretty damn dangerous with all the bone there. Besides what you mentioned, fragmenting bullets (or just deflected bullets) like to bounce all over the place in your body when they hit bones (especially big bones in your shoulder) like a pinball machine. There is a decent chance of fragments tearing up your chest from a shoulder shot.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Unless you're a main character in a movie or TV show. Then you just grimace a little and continue being the hero.

  • ||

    Correct, niobiumstudio. This is especially true of smaller calibre bullets, most notably the .22 cal. This is assmuming a discrete GSW in the deltoid proper v. a shoulder girdle entry. But, overall, you are correct: shoulder GSW's can be lethal very quickly for precisely the reason you cite. And to say nothing of a transverse and/or superior/inferior dorsal/suprascapular entry...

  • ||

    Matt Dillon was shot in the shoulder in like every other episode (and those guns were not exactly 22s), he always survived. And that was before antibiotics!

    Maybe if you were a really good doctor, Groovus, like Doc Adams, you wouldn't have to use these big words as an excuse for your patients dropping like flies.

  • ||

    Matt Dillon was shot in the shoulder in like every other episode (and those guns were not exactly 22s), he always survived. And that was before antibiotics!

    That was due to Miss Kitty's recuperative prowess. :-) I guess she has a magical twat.

    Maybe if you were a really good doctor, Groovus, like Doc Adams, you wouldn't have to use these big words as an excuse for your patients dropping like flies.

    I excised a slug out of the shoulder of a patient last weekend, AAMOF. The patient should be DC'd with an excellent prognosis and should be just fine after healing and some PT time. I'll make sure to refer the patient to Doc Adams though, and some Miss Kitty time might not hurt either. :-)

  • ||

    Well as long you acknowledge the superior powers of Doc Adams and Miss Kitty I think there's hope for you.

    Also moving out of the US is another great sign of potential ;)

  • aelhues||

    But, but....they're not reducing choice, their giving us a new option! Glorious government insurance! Or at least that is what I remember being told.

  • ||

    Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., this past year offered a 12-month plan that cost students $445, while capping payouts at $10,000. For the 2012-13 academic year, the Obama administration said the payout cap must be at least $100,000. Bethany said students would have had to pay more than $2,000 to get that new level of coverage.


    "We decided not to offer coverage for our students next year given the proposed increase in premium," said Bob Schmoll, Bethany's vice president for finance.


    This was not by accident, people.

    Quothe the Iron Law:

    "Forseeable consequences are not unintended."

  • ||

    Especially since they were warned of the foreseeable consequences.

  • Tulpa the White||

    No matter how often you quote it it won't be true.

    Proponents of an action are responsible to take into account both the intended and foreseeable unintended consequences. But they are not the same thing.

  • ||

    Nothing about this action was intended to account for unintended consequences, Tulpa; it's built in to FAIL and eventually get to the goal of UHC. That is the point of ObamneyCare, simply put. By making individual policies of any flavour too expensive for whatever economic strata of the population, they have only one place to go, and that is the intended consequence, and it starts with the poorest first then eventually works its way up.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I agree that it was ill-conceived and that what you describe is likely to be the eventual outcome if it survives the Scouts challenge. Not sure about the intent, though... the GOP was pushing proposals like this back in 1993 so unless you think Bob Dole was into UHC you have to admit it's possible (however foolish) to support it without having that intention in mind.

  • ||

    No, it's not. I truly believe, in my experience as both a physician and former TEAM RED'er, that is precisely my claim. Both want UHC, but one had to make the first concrete move.

    HillaryCare failed, and as well it should have.

    Enter RomneyCare on the state level, a demonstrable failure.

    Then ObmamneyCare, RomneyCare Brit large (this was intentional). If it gets struck down, RomneyCare for all the 50 eventually. If it stands UHC is implemented that much quicker.

    The intent Tulpa, which you obstinately refuse to see, is solidifying and centralizing power by proxy of medical care. By promising medical care, you get votes. Or do you not pay attention to users of CMS, both Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention the hordes of people who believe medical care is a "right".

    Two words: "Free Shit."

    Both TEAMS promise it, but one TEAM gets there a little quicker than the other.

  • ||

    Also, Tulpa, I live in the Reddest of the Red States, and the stategov, under TEAM RED control has been pushing this since before 2009 under the guise of "State Insurance Exchanges" which are demonstrably unnecessary, and it is they that are the backbone of things to come. The ObamneyCare insurance mandates are meant to drive people into them.

    They are not going in the free market direction. This. Is. Intentional. Regardless of so-called "unforeseen consequences."

  • ||

    I actually sort of agree with Tulpa in this. Much as it pains me to try and be intellectually honest with someone who isn't himself intellectually honest.

  • ||

    He would be correct if people neither never got sick, had accidents, or believed medical care is a "right". Because these three things are apparent in the US population, any scheme designed to centralize the delivery of medical care, since people have shifted the responsibility of their heath (meaning what they do personally to manage it, like eat, drink, smoke, activities of daily living, etc.) care to another party, it necessarily follows that consequence is foreseeable. To put it a more succinct way, everybody gets sick at some point, and that is certainly foreseeable.

    While we don't know how they will require medical care for each individual at an exact predictable point, there are no unintended consequences here WRT to centralizing the delivery of medical care since the goal is to force everyone to be "covered" and expanding risk and forcing everyone to cover everybody's liability and nothing here to achieve that goal is unintentional.

    The definition stands.

  • Tulpa the White||

    So when you shoot a mugger in self defense, you intend that his kids will grow up fatherless.

    And when Bush invaded Iraq, he intended to make Iran more powerful and kill a bunch of civilians.

    And when we oppose school lunch funding, we intend that poor children go hungry.

    And...a thousand other foreseeable consequences that are manifestly unintended.

  • ||

    So when you shoot a mugger in self defense, you intend that his kids will grow up fatherless.

    Assumes the conclusion. Did the mugger die?

    And when Bush invaded Iraq, he intended to make Iran more powerful and kill a bunch of civilians.

    Is Iran demonstrably more powerful and where were these civilians killed?

    And when we oppose school lunch funding, we intend that poor children go hungry.

    Assumes the conclusion that parents are incapable of feeding their children and will therefore go hungry.

    And...a thousand other foreseeable consequences that are manifestly unintended.

    Please don't light a match, the Army of Straw is large enough.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Wow, I guess I struck a nerve. I guess I'm the Giordano Bruno of Reason.

  • ||

    "For the 2012-13 academic year, the Obama administration said the payout cap must be at least $100,000. Bethany said students would have had to pay more than $2,000 to get that new level of coverage."

    Well, if you can't afford that then you're little people and don't deserve to go to college anyway.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I always used the student plans; they were a great deal. My grad school had a medical school, so most students were able to get basic clinic care at no or low cost even without insurance. Very little bureaucracy. I can't say how subsidized any services were.

    That said, I'm thrilled that college students may actually have to suffer through an Obama policy. While much of what he's done has hurt them, it isn't direct, noticeable, or traceable. I'm sure a lot of kids will still be on their parents' policy, so this won't faze them, but they have to know someone who may get dropped coverage, and it'll likely be some poor kids.

  • Hell's Librarian||

    That said, I'm thrilled that college students may actually have to suffer through an Obama policy.

    Esp since they were a huge Obama voting block.

  • niobiumstudio||

    I'm surprised they weren't banned/phased out all together. With the Mandate, everyone HAS to have insurance, and insurers HAVE to insure children until 26, so really there is no need to get insurance through a college anymore. Of course, it would be cheaper to get insurance for $40/month than to have a family plan, but with the logic behind the rest of Obamacare, it wouldn't be a stretch to get rid of college insurance.

  • Adam330||

    Parents don't have to buy insurance for their over-18 kids though. And not everyone has parents. I'm guessing there will be a good number of college students on medicaid in a couple years as that will be their only option.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I think you're right, though a lot of places have made it hard (and rightfully so) for college kids to take advantage of benefits. In Michigan they revoked EBT cards for college kids, even though they qualified, because it's assumed they have resources coming from parents, and will be comparatively high earners in a few years.

    I handled one legal aid case where a girl didn't have insurance and had to pay $50K+ out of pocket. She couldn't qualify for local county low income plans since she was a student, and assumed that she would get free health care if she got sick, since she came from a poor family and they had always received free healthcare. As much as I hate mandatory disclosure laws, I wouldn't be opposed to having every student who refuses to purchase health care insurance to sign something stating that they acknowledge their refusal, as an institutional policy.

  • Tulpa the White||

    The evil insurance corporations are responsible, obviously.

    I mean, they blame Wall Street for their federal student loan debt for God's sake. Not that Wall St is a friend of liberty either, but they blame EVERYONE except the Big Man.

  • sloopyinca||

    TL;DR: Forseeable consequences are not unintended.

  • ||

    I think it's the corollary this time: Obvious consequences must have been intended.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Once again pith triumphs over validity. Another sad day at Reason, Mr. Inca.

  • R C Dean||

    Are those salty tears? With perhaps a hint of . . . ham?

  • Tulpa the White||

    For a guy whose word is treated like gospel even when it's provably false, you don't have much of an argument.

    Oh wait, forgot my Lord Acton.

  • A. Freeman||

    Score again for the Obama Administration! They attacked the student loan interest rate, cost of education and implemented measures to increase student health insurance rates.

    And we still have a President that touts "College for all!" After all, the Anointed One is the true Education President. All hail the Anointed One!

  • A Frayed Knot||

    I wonder how many college students will actually be affected by this. After all, thanks to Obamacare, insurance providers have to insure children up to the age of 26, so students can just stay on their parents' plan.

    For those who don't have that option - we'll you get what you vote for. Suck it.

  • fried wylie||

    Colleges require students to obtain insurance?

    They can't go out of business fast enough.

  • fried wylie||

    Those silly college kids! What were they thinking? They obviously didn't really want those low-cost health insurance plans.

    They didn't really have a choice, did they?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I thought that was stupid when I went to college in the early 90s. Unless there was a catastrophic event, I wasn't going to need health insurance. I think the most complicated procedure I had in college was a basic wisdom tooth extraction.

  • ||

    Fortunately for me, I was covered by my mom's generous health plan--she was a teacher.

    Now, I'm required to be covered by the Czech Republics national health care system.

    Should I turn in my monocle?

  • fried wylie||

    Could only get worse if it turned out your Dad was a cop, and participated in the Kelly Thomas murder.

  • ||

    Dad said that procedures were followed. Also something about it being an isolated incident.

  • fried wylie||

    Oh, it's all good then.

  • newshutz||

    you forgot He kept repeating, "stop resisting"

  • ||

    I hope not. I raced into my spouse's fat cat Teacher's Union plan as soon as she got the job.

  • fried wylie||

    Will turn out to be a poor decision when that coverage vanishes. The Parasite's Dilemma.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    So long as you keep a Vaclav Klaus pin-up on your wall and foment distaste for the ODS' progressive turn under your breath, I believe you're allowed to keep your monocle. But certainly you have to put it away.

  • ||

    Ha, I fucking hate Klaus. I hate the socialists more, of course, but the idea that Klaus is a 'Thatcherite' is BS in my opinion. He was as crony as they come as PM.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Remember that about two weeks ago I got into an argument with someone whose girlfriend is a current grad student. He claimed these types of plans didn't count as insurance when someone said that you can get insurance for less than the cost of an iPhone plan.

  • fried wylie||

    He claimed these types of plans didn't count as insurance

    They can't count as insurance if they don't exist, you silly kocktopariantard (or whatever liberals' prefered namecalling is this week.)

  • Tulpa the White||

    Maybe we can trade the health care mandate for an iPhone mandate.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That would be even worse, you Apple shill!

  • Curtis||

    This plan was not insurance. In fact, it was the exact opposite of insurance.

    It covers the first $10,000 and leaves you liable for the rest. In other words, it covers exactly what you do not need (routine medical) and ignores what you do need (catastrophic). This was probably the dumbest medical coverage known to mankind.

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