Medicaid to pay for college health plans


Come this fall, some colleges will offer student health plans paid for by state Medicaid programs, reports Kaiser Health News.

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, hopes to offer between 200 and 400 eligible in-state undergraduates coverage at little or no cost. The university's student health plan coverage will cost $2,500, while Medicaid coverage will most likely cost $3,500. The state Medicaid program will pay the student health plan premium and Medicaid coverage will take care of any gaps in care, according to KHN.

Advocates of the program believe it will provide Medicaid-eligible students access to a wider network of providers, while also boosting access to mental health and specialist services. Because student health plans are categorized as individual coverage, Medicaid can cover premiums for student health plans as long as participation is voluntary and coverage costs remain the same as those under Medicaid.

The initiative may work best for in-state students who attend colleges in states that have expanded Medicaid. Unless the state has expanded its Medicaid program, it's unlikely students will qualify for Medicaid coverage, according to KHN.

Meanwhile, certain states are helping students look ahead to health coverage after college. MNsure, the Minnesota-based marketplace, is reminding recent or soon-to-be Minnesota college graduates that they have affordable insurance options, according to an MNsure announcement.

"As young adults across Minnesota anticipate life after college graduation, many will lose the health insurance they had through school and the peace of mind that comes with that coverage," said MNsure CEO Scott Leitz.

California is another state looking out for its college graduates. For those shopping on Covered California, individuals earning less than $45,000 a year may qualify for tax subsidies, while grads earning less than $16,000 a year may qualify for Medi-Cal coverage, reports the Los Angeles Times.

To learn more:
- here's the Kaiser Health News article
- read the MNsure announcement
- check out the LA Times piece

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