New Changes Student Health Insurance

New Jersey Statute 18A:62-15, was modified by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Christie last July, no longer requires New Jersey institutions of higher education to verify that its students are covered by a health insurance policy.  It was the Legislature’s and Governor’s intention to provide students with the freedom to select their own health plan that is best for them rather than a plan selected by the school.  As a consequence, William Paterson University will not be offering a student health insurance plan for the upcoming 2014-2015 academic year. 

With the passage of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA), the Federal Government is now requiring that all citizens be covered by a PPACA compliant plan or they will be subject to tax liabilities beginning January 2014. The Federal Government has also established health insurance exchanges that allow families and individuals in need of health insurance coverage to compare coverage and pricing from a variety of different insurance companies offering plans in your area.

The PPACA also required employer plans to continue to provide dependent coverage to their employee’s dependents up to age 26.  Additionally the PPACA expanded Medicaid eligibility in many States including NJ.  To determine if you might be eligible for the expanded Medicaid coverage, you will also need to apply through your state healthcare exchange.

Students who previously relied upon the student health insurance plan will now need to find coverage from another source.  Students should first determine if they are eligible for extended dependent coverage under a parent’s health insurance plan.  The next step requires the student to access the health insurance exchange for your State.  For New Jersey and most other States that would be www.healthcare.gov

While the open enrollment period for 2014 is closed, you will be eligible for a special enrollment due to a life change (health insurance policy terminated).  Additionally you will need to provide evidence that you were covered by a creditable health insurance plan.  For students who were previously covered by the schools plan with United Healthcare, they will need to call the insurance company at 1-800-505-4160 and they will provide you with appropriate documentation.    

Student should begin the process at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their current coverage to avoid any lapse in coverage.  The current student insurance policy will terminate on August 14, 2014.

The coverage available through the exchanges will if purchased will provide healthcare insurance through December 31, 2014.  Beginning November 15, 2014, the open enrollment period for the 2015 health insurance policy will begin and you will need to participate if you wish to continue your coverage for 2015.