New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill that eliminates a state requirement that all college students have health insurance, after college officials complained that it will drive up the cost of basic health insurance plans once Obamacare takes effect.
According to the Newark Star-Ledger, officials want the insurance requirement killed because they say premium costs are expected to jump in some cases from several hundred dollars this year to as much $1,700 or more next year.
However, healthcare advocates say that eliminating the mandatory insurance rule for the state's more than 600,000 students could drive up costs or lead to the wider spread of illnesses as more uninsured student decide not to seek care or begin going to charity clinics or hospital emergency rooms for help.
The state Assembly Higher Education Committee approved the bill on Monday, and moved it to the full chamber for a vote. The state Senate, meanwhile, has already passed identical bill.
New Jersey is the only state where college students must have insurance. But that could change soon. The state Assembly Higher Education Committee approved the bill eliminating the requirement on Monday and moved it to the full chamber for a vote. The state Senate, meanwhile, has already passed an identical bill.
While many college students stay on their parents' plans, which cover children up to age 26, those without it are required to purchase health coverage through their schools.
Minimal coverage plans run between $100-$600 at some schools. But those plans are being phased out next year when Obamacare takes effect, the Star-Ledger reported.
According to Robert Polakowski, vice president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey, about one-third of students use their school's insurance plans. He urged the federal government to work with the schools to insure that costs remain affordable.
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