Blog Archive

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Michelle's Law

This is wonderful news to everyone with a chronic disorder and in college: on October 9, 2008, Michelle's Law became Public Law No: 110-381.

Who is Michelle and what is the law? I just read about Michelle Morse. She was a lovely young lady who died of cancer. You can read about her on her web page established by her family, which is touching.

On June 25, 2007, Rep. Paul Hodes [D-NH] of New Hampshire introduced the bill. He's my new hero.

Michelle's Law "amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit a group health plan from terminating coverage of a dependent child due to a medically necessary leave of absence from a postsecondary education institution or any other change in enrollment at that institution that commences while such child is suffering from a severe illness or injury and causes such child to lose full-time student status before that earlier of: (1) one year after the first day of the medically necessary leave of absence; or (2) the date on which such coverage would otherwise terminate under the terms of the plan. Requires certification by the child's attending physician. Applies such requirement to coverage offered in the individual market."

Your child with hemophilia or VWD in college might find it necessary at some point to miss a lot of school, if he or she has a bad bleed, surgery or inhibitors. If your child loses their student status, they might not be covered under your insurance. I know Tommy's insurance requires that he be enrolled full time. I plan to keep him in school until he is 25, even if just for insurance.

Michelle's Law now makes it impossible for an insurance plan to terminate your child if he or she misses a lot of school due to medical reasons and loses their full time status. Every kid with a bleeding disorder in college should be made aware of Michelle's Law.

Thanks to Kathy Robinette-Stone of MedPro Rx for tipping us off about Michelle's Law!


Anonymous said...

How do self insured employers fit into this picture? I have heard that one reason that employers like to be self insured (for any amount?) is that they escape some government regulations. It is a tough bind to be in when your employer is self insured and you want (and would like to depend on) the regulations from which that employer is exempt. It seems that self insurance (to some $ level) is popular with employers these days. And those employers usually do not offer that information to the employees.

Anonymous said...

Michelle's Law is a Federal law. Self-inusred employers are subject to Federal law. Self-insured plans are often not subject to State law unless the State law specifically addresses self-insured plans.

James Morgan - Puritan Financial Advisor said...

I know Tommy's insurance requires that he be enrolled full time. I plan to keep him in school until he is 25, even if just for insurance.