Health Care

The Issue

The American Council on Education (ACE) works on a variety of health-care issues and advocates for policies that consider the needs of students as well as the particular circumstances of campuses. ACE took a leading role in discussing how to support institutions and students throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the aftermath of the pandemic, a mental health crisis among students has emerged and intensified. ACE has urged lawmakers and regulators to support and prioritize the mental and behavioral health needs of students when crafting policy. In addition, as various bills and regulations to modify the Affordable Care Act have been proposed in the years since it was signed into law in 2010, ACE has routinely advocated for policies that protect institutions and help them support their students.

Our Work
Statement to the Senate Finance Committee on Telehealth in Higher Education
November 28, 2023
Statement to the Senate Finance Committee on Telehealth in Higher Education
On behalf of 11 other higher education associations, ACE submitted a statement to the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care regarding the importance of access to telehealth services, particularly for mental health, for college students.
Comments on Mental Health Parity Act NPRM
October 4, 2023
Comments on Mental Health Parity Act NPRM
ACE, on behalf of 18 other higher education organizations, sent comments to the departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services urging them to ease college students' access to mental health services as they amend regulations to the Mental...
Letter Urging Congress to Support Student Mental Health Care Needs
April 13, 2022
Letter Urging Congress to Support Student Mental Health Care Needs
Letter from a coalition of nearly 100 organizations to the leaders of the House and Senate education committees, the Senate Finance Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee strongly urging them to prioritize the needs of college students ...
Letter of Support for the TREAT Act Amendment to the PREVENT Pandemics Act
March 14, 2022
Letter of Support for the TREAT Act Amendment to the PREVENT Pandemics Act
Letter to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions leaders requesting the inclusion of the telemedicine-focused TREAT Act amendment to the HELP Committee’s PREVENT Pandemics Act.
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 Federal Contract Requirements on Colleges and Universities
October 1, 2021
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 Federal Contract Requirements on Colleges and Universities
The Biden administration has issued guidance to implement its executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for federal contractors. This issue brief will help you sort through the details and plan your institution's response.
Letter to the House on the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act
June 4, 2021
Letter to the House on the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act
ACE and the higher education associations signing this letter are concerned that the legislation fails to provide campuses with sufficient flexibility in the specific resources they highlight and the manner in which they are shared with students.
Letter to Senate on the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act
May 12, 2021
Letter to Senate on the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act
Letter to Sens. John Kennedy and Kyrsten Sinema on the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act, a bill that would require all colleges and universities to include certain mental health hotline numbers on student ID cards.
Issue Brief on Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements at Colleges and Universities for Fall 2021
April 5, 2021
Issue Brief on Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements at Colleges and Universities for Fall 2021
The brief looks at issues such as whether institutions can require students to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine and other questions involved in making the decision.
Higher Education and the Future of Telehealth
March 8, 2021
Higher Education and the Future of Telehealth
Letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Subcommittee on Health following the subcommittee's March 2 hearing on “The Future of Telehealth: How COVID-19 is Changing the Delivery of Virtual Care.”
Letter to Congress in Support of the TREAT Act
December 14, 2020
Letter to Congress in Support of the TREAT Act
From ACE and 53 other associations to congressional leaders to request that Congress enact the Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment Act to ensure temporary reciprocity in licensing health professionals so they can practice across state l...
Letter on Telemedicine Licensing Reciprocity
April 2, 2020
Letter on Telemedicine Licensing Reciprocity
Letter to the nation's governors urging them to provide reciprocity in licensing health care and mental health care professionals to enable them to practice across state lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Letter to Senate on the Graham-Cassidy Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act
September 25, 2017
Letter to Senate on the Graham-Cassidy Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act
Letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on the healthcare legislation recently proposed by Senators Graham, Cassidy, Heller and Johnson on behalf of ACE and about 20 other higher education associations.
Letter to Senate Leaders on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
June 27, 2017
Letter to Senate Leaders on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
Letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) from ACE and 18 other higher education associations about the serious concerns the groups have with the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the Senate bill ...
Analysis of the IRS Notice from Ernst & Young Regarding Graduate Student Health Insurance Subsidies
May 27, 2016
Analysis of the IRS Notice from Ernst & Young Regarding Graduate Student Health Insurance Subsidies
An analysis of the IRS notice from Ernst & Young LLP regarding Affordable Care Act rules for institutions offering subsidized student health coverage to graduate students.
Fact Sheet: The ACA and Graduate Student Subsidies for SHIP Coverage
March 1, 2016
Fact Sheet: The ACA and Graduate Student Subsidies for SHIP Coverage
On Feb. 5, 2016, the departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor issued guidance that providing graduate students with student health insurance plan coverage is not permitted under the ACA’s employer mandate.
A Strategic Primer on College Student Mental Health
October 1, 2014
A Strategic Primer on College Student Mental Health
A report by NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the American Council on Education, and the American Psychological Association focusing on student mental health issues. Includes examples of practice that contribute to student ment...
Letters Endorsing Bills Exempting Student Workers from the ACA Employer Mandate
August 13, 2014
Letters Endorsing Bills Exempting Student Workers from the ACA Employer Mandate
ACE and a group of seven higher education associations have endorsed two bills that would exempt full-time students from the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, which requires large employers—including colleges and universities—to offer health insu...
Letter to the Department of Health and Human Services on Self-Funded Student Health Plans
April 18, 2012
Letter to the Department of Health and Human Services on Self-Funded Student Health Plans
A request for clarification in regulatory guidance on how self-funded student health benefit plans may be recognized as providing minimum essential coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Comments on Proposed Student Health Insurance Regulations
April 12, 2011
Comments on Proposed Student Health Insurance Regulations
The regulations are in part a response to a request from ACE, the American College Health Association and several other organizations for guidance on how colleges and universities can continue to offer affordable, high-quality student health plans that...
Student Health Plan Regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services
February 11, 2011
Student Health Plan Regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services
A summary of the major provisions of the proposed regulations for student health plans from the Department of Health and Human Services. Part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Latest News
New Brief Gives Guidance on Top Student Mental Health Issues for Higher Ed Leaders
October 30, 2023
New Brief Gives Guidance on Top Student Mental Health Issues for Higher Ed Leaders
ACE has published a new brief to help guide higher education leaders on how to best support the higher education community and beyond as student mental health concerns on campuses continue to rise.
Associations Urge Administration to Prioritize Mental Health Care for College Students
October 10, 2023
Associations Urge Administration to Prioritize Mental Health Care for College Students
ACE and other higher education groups sent a letter last week to the Department of Labor to educate and focus staff on the issue of college student mental health, which hasn’t received the same level of attention as youth mental health at the K-12 level.
Joint Statement by ACE and the American College Health Association on Safeguarding Student Health and Well-being
March 29, 2023
Joint Statement by ACE and the American College Health Association on Safeguarding Student Health and Well-being
As leading higher education organizations, we support the efforts of our colleges and universities to provide a high-quality educational experience to all who attend.
Becoming a Health Promoting Campus: Facilitating Student, Staff, and Faculty Success While Contributing to the Public Good
March 23, 2023
Becoming a Health Promoting Campus: Facilitating Student, Staff, and Faculty Success While Contributing to the Public Good
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2020, The University of Alabama at Birmingham became the first university in the United States to formally adopt the Okanagan Charter and become an internationally recognized Health Promoting University.
Supporting Mental Health on Campus Learning Circles
Held Quarterly
Supporting Mental Health on Campus Learning Circles
Committed to the well-being of students, faculty, and staff? Join a Supporting Campus Mental Health Learning Circle. Participants will learn from each other about strategies to center mental health for students, faculty, and staff.
Mental Health in Higher Education Roundtable
August 30, 2022
9:00 a.m.–10:20 a.m. ET
Mental Health in Higher Education Roundtable
The opening portion of the Mental Health in Higher Education Roundtable included a fireside chat with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy. The roundtable was generously sponsored by Lumina Foundation.
Back to School Prep: Monkeypox, COVID, Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Your Campus
August 19, 2022
Back to School Prep: Monkeypox, COVID, Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Your Campus
With the fall semester about to begin, the Biden administration is getting the word out to campuses on two key topics: Preparing for the latest phase of COVID-19 and the new challenge of monkeypox, and taking advantage of changes to PSLF ahead of Oct. 31.
College Leaders Express Concern About the Impact of Supreme Court Ruling Overturning Abortion Rights
August 9, 2022
College Leaders Express Concern About the Impact of Supreme Court Ruling Overturning Abortion Rights
A group of college presidents met with Vice President Kamala Harris Aug. 8 at the White House to discuss the consequences for colleges and students of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.
House Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Address Student Mental Health
July 20, 2022
House Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Address Student Mental Health
The House has passed two bills that seek to address the growing mental health crisis on college campuses: the Enhancing Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Through Campus Planning Act and the Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act.
Webinar Helps Colleges Learn More About Using Federal Relief Dollars to Support Student Mental Health
May 31, 2022
Webinar Helps Colleges Learn More About Using Federal Relief Dollars to Support Student Mental Health
Watch the May 25 ACE-Department of Education webinar to learn more about how federal relief dollars can help colleges and universities expand mental health resources for their students.
Legal Challenges Complicate Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors, Including Universities
December 13, 2021
Legal Challenges Complicate Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors, Including Universities
In the latest development on vaccine mandates, a federal district court in Georgia last week blocked President Biden’s mandate for millions of federal contractors’ employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Biden Administration Announces New Vaccine Rules for Public and Private Sectors
November 8, 2021
Biden Administration Announces New Vaccine Rules for Public and Private Sectors
Last week, the Biden administration rolled out two new COVID-19 vaccine regulations covering over 100 million employees, including at colleges and universities.
ACE, Higher Ed Groups Urge Flexibility for International Students as COVID-19 Travel Ban Is Lifted
October 18, 2021
ACE, Higher Ed Groups Urge Flexibility for International Students as COVID-19 Travel Ban Is Lifted
ACE and other higher education associations are calling on the administration and the CDC to make the Biden administration's new travel policy flexible enough to accommodate students and scholars from countries where the vaccine is not widely available.
What Colleges and Universities Need to Know About the Biden Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors
October 4, 2021
What Colleges and Universities Need to Know About the Biden Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors
A new ACE issue brief summarizes the Biden administration’s new guidance on mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for federal contractors, including colleges and universities.
While Biden's Vaccine Mandate Will Impact Colleges and Universities, Details Remain Unclear
September 20, 2021
While Biden's Vaccine Mandate Will Impact Colleges and Universities, Details Remain Unclear
President Biden’s recently announced COVID-19 action plan has a number of provisions that will impact colleges and universities in the coming weeks and months, although many of the specifics are still unknown.
CDC, ACHA Release Guidance on How Campuses Can Operate Safely This Fall
June 7, 2021
CDC, ACHA Release Guidance on How Campuses Can Operate Safely This Fall
CDC and ACHA have released new guidance on how higher ed can operate safely this fall as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, taking into consideration the substantial progress the US has made in the months since vaccinations were made available.
College Student Mental Health and Well-Being: A Survey of Presidents
College Student Mental Health and Well-Being: A Survey of Presidents
To better understand how college and university presidents are navigating issues of student mental health and well-being, ACE conducted its third Pulse Point survey at the end of April.
ACE Issue Brief Suggests Framework for Campus Vaccination Requirement Questions
April 5, 2021
ACE Issue Brief Suggests Framework for Campus Vaccination Requirement Questions
The brief looks at issues such as whether institutions can require students to be vaccinated with one of the three COVID-19 vaccines so far approved in the United States, and some of the questions involved in making the decision to do so.
Congress Should Act Quickly to Pass TREAT Act, Improve Access to Telehealth
March 9, 2021
Congress Should Act Quickly to Pass TREAT Act, Improve Access to Telehealth
ACE and 50 other higher education associations are urging Congress to pass legislation creating temporary license reciprocity across state lines for health care professionals or practitioners who treat physical or behavioral health conditions.
ACE Member Campuses Help Roll Out the COVID-19 Vaccine
February 2, 2021
ACE Member Campuses Help Roll Out the COVID-19 Vaccine
ACE members across the country are offering their campus facilities and other resources to assist with vaccine distribution and and other critical pandemic-related needs.
Mental Health on Campus Group
Mental Health on Campus Group
In this Engage group, several experts in the field of mental health share valuable resources and answer your questions about mental health issues on campus. Only on ACE Engage—Create your account!
 
 


COVID-19 Policy Developments

ACE led the higher education association community's efforts to urge Congress and the federal government to address the many challenges students and campuses faced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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