SHIP: Mandatory Obamacare for College Students
Until now, University System of Georgia (USG) students paid a fee to use the health clinic, but the federal government is implementing a mandatory Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) for applicants without USG-approved policies. The new requirements of USG are as follows:
“Students (both undergraduate and graduate) who fail to submit creditable health insurance information will automatically be enrolled in and billed for the system-wide student health insurance plan. All 35 institutions of the USG are required to use Pearce & Pearce, Inc. as the provider for students who must purchase health insurance.”
HHS regulations govern SHIP. On February 9, 2011, the federal Department of Health and Human Services proposed the SHIP regulation under authority of two federal laws passed in 2010 – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. Public comment on SHIP was allowed until April 12, 2011.
On December 14, 2011, HHS reported the number of adults 19 through 25 years of age covered by private health insurance increased 2.5 million since September 2010, a result of Obamacare. With offspring remaining on their parents’ policies until age 26, that number will multiply.
SHOP: Obama-Compliant Health Insurance for Businesses
H.B. 476 is Georgia’s Obamacare-compliant legislation. If passed, it would put the state into the insurance business, big time! Government would be expanded with (a) a Georgia Health Exchange Authority and its nine-member governor-appointed board. (b) A Georgia Health Exchange Trust Fund would be a depository for federal grants, private contributions and other funds. (c) A governor-appointed Exchange Advisory Committee and (d) a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) would be created for small group plans. In 2011, H.B. 476 passed a House subcommittee before opposition caused the governor to pull it from the process.
But, S.B. 17 did pass in 2011, authorizing a Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance and the governor signed it May 11, 2011. Recommendations by that commission will pave the way for H.B. 476 to be resurrected in the upcoming 2012 session.
Reasons Legislators Should Not Rush to Implement Government Controlled Insurance
(a) Soon, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether we can be forced to buy health insurance.
(b) If the Supreme Court rules Obamacare unconstitutional, the federal mandate will disappear.
(c) If the Court upholds Obamacare, states have until 2013 (a full year) to present a solid plan.
(d) If H.B. 476 passes, we could face state-mandated health insurance, if Obamacare is voided.
(e) Obamacare does not take effect until 2014, even if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds it.
(f) H.B. 476 is premature. It would put the state in the insurance business before it’s necessary.
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