The Supreme Court yesterday ruled 5-4 that President Obama’s signature overhaul of the nation’s health care system—the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—is constitutional, including the mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance. The decision means colleges and universities must continue to implement the ACA as employers and, where they provide student health insurance, continue to do so.
In the ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts said the requirement that individuals purchase health coverage or pay a penalty (known as the individual mandate) is within Congress' power to impose taxes. The majority also said Congress can expand Medicaid, but can't strip states of all their Medicaid funds if they fail to participate in that expansion.
For the 30-plus institutions that provide student health coverage on a self-funded basis, the decision does not resolve whether and how they are to comply with the ACA. However, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is likely to provide regulatory guidance to those institutions in the near future.
Student Health Insurance Coverage Final Regulations: A Summary of Major Provisions