Post Content

1244170988_3798

David Morales

Commissioner, Division of Health Care Finance and Policy

 

This week, Governor Patrick announced the culmination of an unprecedented collaborative effort amongst state and community colleges and state agencies to improve access to affordable student health insurance in Massachusetts

As early as this August, state and community colleges will offer students a health insurance option that features enhanced benefits, such as access to a broader provider network and medical management tools, with minimal change in premium cost.  Its important to note that the new option will eliminate benefit limits (including maximum dollar coverage limit for all services provided in a year and per illness and injury caps on outpatient services) that at times can leave students with unaffordable medical bills. 

The Governor directed this multi-stakeholder collaborative to reform student health insurance after reviewing our report on student health programs in Massachusetts. The Student Health Programs Baseline Report, released by the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy in November 2009, showed that students were not receiving appropriate coverage or value through their current student health plans. Of particular concern was the number of students exceeding their benefit coverage limits, exposing students to significant out-of-pocket costs. 

In response to our report, Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland convened the Student Health Plan Steering Committee, including students and administrators from the Commonwealth’s state and community colleges, as well as representatives from the University of Massachusetts; Commonwealth Connector Authority; the Department of Higher Education; the Executive Office of Education; the Executive Office for Administration and Finance; the Executive Office of Health and Human Services; and the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy.

Moving forward, the Division will continue to support student health insurance reform by collecting, analyzing, and reporting data from school plans. We intend to release an updated report on student health programs later this spring.

The Division will continue to collaborate with the steering committee to expand the group purchasing effort. The University of Massachusetts system has committed to join the procurement next year bringing an additional 13,000 students, and there is similar interest from several private institutions. As the effort expands, the steering committee plans to develop a model which allows students to choose the health plan that best meets their needs and exercise greater choice over their benefit options. This effort has demonstrated the effectiveness of consolidated purchasing and leveraging the professional health insurance expertise of the Connector to achieve greater value for students. Moving forward, we hope to continue to build upon the successes of this initiative by expanding high value student health options to an even broader base of students and schools. 

For more information about student health insurance in Massachusetts, including the related reports, FAQs, and regulatory material, please visit www.mass.gov/chia. You can also follow the Division’s news and updates on www.twitter.com/Mass_CHIA.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Youth Homelessness – Jack Duffy-Protentis – November 2013 posted on Nov 13

I was in the 3rd grade when my parents told me that I was losing my eye sight. I remember feeling relieved that the reason I was struggling in school was because of this thing called Stargardt’s Disease; and not because I was not smart.   …Continue Reading Youth Homelessness – Jack Duffy-Protentis – November 2013

Raycela Dasher – Bristol County -October 2013 posted on Nov 13

As I looked at the stack of papers laid before me, I took a deep breath and prepared to write. These papers were more than just another assignment or application. These papers were a chance of a lifetime. As I looked to the top of   …Continue Reading Raycela Dasher – Bristol County -October 2013

Education and youth homelessness // Written by: Mary Kate Roffey of the GSYC posted on Oct 4

Education and youth homelessness are two of the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council’s initiatives. Throughout the month of August, the GSYC decided to hold ‘Back to School’ drives to collect school supplies for homeless youth. This project allowed the GSYC to make progress on both issues   …Continue Reading Education and youth homelessness // Written by: Mary Kate Roffey of the GSYC