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Michelle's Law Takes Effect October 9, 2009

Sep 04, 2009

Coverage changes take effect October 9

House Bill 2851 (HR 2851), otherwise known as Michelle's Law, is a federal law that requires health plans and issuers of health insurance coverage to continue coverage for college students who are forced to take a leave of absence or change their enrollment status due to a serious illness or injury. This law applies to fully insured and self-funded (ERISA and non-ERISA) Group and Individual medical, pharmacy, behavioral health and, when part of the health plan, dental and vision coverage.

The requirements of the new law are effective October 9, 2009, and apply to all policies that are issued or renewed on or after that date. The following is a list of requirements:
The coverage must be continued until the earlier of:

Comparison to State Law
HR 2851 applies only when the dependent is eligible under the terms of the plan or health insurance coverage by virtue of his or her student status. It will not have an impact on state laws that generally require coverage for all dependents through a specified age regardless of student status.


The parent company of Anthem Blue Cross formed an enterprise project team dedicated to compliance with Michelle's Law. In the upcoming months, the project team will make necessary changes to operations, enrollment and billing processes, re-certification forms and booklet language. They will provide updates as they become available.

For additional details on Michelle's Law, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions. An article communicating details of this regulatory change will be published in the Fall Employer newsletter. If you have questions related to these changes, please contact your B&P Sales Representative.
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