The Granite State has become the latest state to expand young adults’ ability to continue to get health coverage through their parents.
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has signed H.B. 37, a bill that will create “Michelle’s Law.”
The law will affect young adults who qualify for dependent status on their parents’ policies only because they are full-time students. State-regulated health insurers will have to keep up dependent coverage for a covered student if the student loses full-time student status because of a serious illness or injury.
The new law will affect only “5 to 10 people per year, at most,” says Rep. Will Infantine, R-Manchester, N.H., the bill sponsor.
But, for the individuals affected “the effect will be significant,” Infantine says.
The law should not hurt health insurers, because the benefits continuation requirement will affect so few people and college students are in one of the better demographic groups for health care, Infantine says.
Key supporters of H.B. 37 have included the family of Michelle Morse.
Morse, 22, was a student at a New Hampshire college, Plymouth State University, when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She discovered that she could not take a leave of absence and still afford chemotherapy.
Morse died in November 2005.
New Hampshire is one of several states that have considered Michelle’s Law bills. Other states that have adopted versions of Michelle’s Law in recent months have included Colorado, Delaware and New Jersey.