Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Care Reform Insurance Exchange General Information for College Students

The following information is an overview and for your benefit only.  For a more detailed study of the ACA please visit the web sites listed below.

What is important about insurance requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - also known as Health Care Reform?

  • A provision of the Affordable Care Act requires that all persons have insurance or pay a penalty (called the “individual mandate”).
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for the operation of insurance exchanges which started in 2014.  Exchanges are national, state-operated, or a combination.  Exchanges were established to provide access to health care coverage for all persons.
  • Children can now stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until the age of 26, regardless of the child’s marital status, financial dependency, enrollment in school, or place of residence.
  • In-network and participating providers must cover preventive services.
  • Enrollment for the insurance exchanges for persons eligible began on October 1, 2013 for effective date on January 1, 2014.  The enrollment period ended on March 31, 2014.  Currently the next enrollment period is October 15, 2014 through December 7, 2014 for coverage beginning January 1, 2014 although those dates have changed many times and may change again.
  • You are not able to purchase health insurance outside of open enrollment unless you qualify with a “triggering event”.  Some examples of a triggering event is loss of minimum essential coverage for an individual or their dependent, gaining or becoming a dependent, or newly gaining citizenship, etc.
What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
  • The State of Iowa has chosen to establish a State Insurance Exchange.  Eligible individuals may purchase health coverage through the exchange without regard to health status.  If you are not a resident of the state of Iowa, you should reference information for your state of residence.  Please be aware that some state plans will not meet Waldorf’s adequate coverage policy as they are HMOs or State Aid type of coverage.
If I need health insurance coverage now but qualify to enroll during open enrollment will I be able to drop the Student Assurance Services offered by Waldorf College during the school year?
  • No, once you have enrolled in the plan offered by Waldorf College, you have that coverage until July 31, 2015 regardless if you obtain other health insurance, graduate or withdraw from Waldorf.  The plan is yours for a year and you can use it anywhere in the United States.  You can locate all First Health providers by going to http://firsthealth.coventryhealthcare.com/locate--provider/index.htm. And this plan does meet the Health Care Reform requirements. 
  • If you want to be able to waive the plan offered by Waldorf for the 2015-2016 school year, you would need to purchase adequate coverage that is in effect on or before August 1, 2015.
Where can I get more information on the health insurance exchanges?