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Student Health Plans

According to some estimates, as many as 3 million students are covered through student health plans offered by colleges, universities, or other institutions of higher education.  Student health plans are often purchased when family coverage is not available.  However, not all student health plans are the same.  Some plans are comprehensive but others may offer limited benefits, which can put students and their families at risk for catastrophic medical bills.  In addition, these plans are treated differently depending on how and where they’re offered, which has created a patchwork system of regulation for these plans that makes it difficult for students and their families to understand what their plans cover and their rights as consumers.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed regulation that would ensure students enrolled in these plans benefit from important consumer protections created by the Affordable Care Act by clarifying that these plans would be defined as “individual health insurance coverage.”