to Health Insurance for College Students".
Brief History of Michelle’s Law.
NH House Bill 37,
also known as “Michelle’s
Law,” came about when AnnMarie Morse’s
daughter Michelle, a full time student at Plymouth
State University, was diagnosed with colon
cancer. Knowing the toll chemotherapy
treatments would take, Michelle’s doctors
strongly recommended that she cut back her
college course load.
That’s when the Morse family discovered
that they were caught in a terrible catch-22. If
Michelle cut back, as her doctors recommended,
she would either lose her insurance or would
have to pay C.O.B.R.A. The premiums
for C.O.B.R.A. were approximately $550 a month
(not including copays), would be more than
the family could afford.
As both a parent
and a teacher, AnnMarie felt that students
like Michelle should be allowed a brief medical
leave (up to 12 months) during which they
could cut back or leave college to concentrate
on their health needs – without
jeopardizing the insurance they rely on for
their treatments. With the help of some
legislators, and backed by a number of medical
and professional organizations, AnnMarie Morse
took the issue to the NH legislature.
On June 22, 2006 New Hampshire became the first state to pass Michelle’s Law. Since then, 10 other states have passed some variation of the law. On October 8, 2008, President George W. Bush signed H.R. 2851, making Michelle’s Law a federal law effective October 9, 2009.
Law allows full-time college students to
take up to 12 months medical leave.
- Michelle’s Law applies to students
who are covered under their parent’s
health insurance plan.
- “Medical leave” can
mean that the student is absent from school
or reduces his/her course load to part-time.
- The date the
medical leave begins is determined by a
- Signed into law
on June 22, 2006, the legislation was officially
Law” and took effect immediately.