Universities Explore Health Reform Impact
Not long after the historic health care reform bill narrowly passed the House and was signed into law by President Barack Obama before moving on to the Senate, a common question began to surface: “Now what?” Individuals and employers are searching for summary information and struggling to decipher the measure to determine how it might directly impact them. One challenge is that the legislation provides a framework, but many details and procedures still need to be worked out.
“Universities, including NMU, are reviewing the bill and working with insurance providers to determine what the potential effects are and how they would be handled,” said Gavin Leach (Finance and Administration). “We are working with Blue Cross. It’s clearly going to have an impact, but it’s too early at this point to determine what that will be. We will also be reviewing any impact with regards to students' health care coverage."
The bill extends the age that children can remain on their parents’ insurance policies to 26 or 27, regardless of their college status. But beginning in 2014, young adults will be required to purchase insurance or face tax penalties. Those will be phased in, reaching the larger of $695 per year or 2.5 percent of household income by 2016. Young adults who meet specified income guidelines would be eligible for subsidies to help pay for their coverage.