A new federal law that protects full-time college students from losing their health insurance in the event of a serious medical condition came into effect on October 9. “Michelle’s Law” amends ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code and the Public Health Service Act to extend coverage for the lesser of one year after the first day of the medically necessary leave of absence or until the date on which the plan would otherwise terminate such coverage. This follows Illinois Public Act 95-0958, which went into effect on June 1, to expand dependent coverage under health insurance policies. In addition to enacting a requirement similar to Michelle’s Law, the new Illinois statute provides that policies of accident and health insurance or managed care plans that cover dependents shall not terminate or deny an election of coverage for an unmarried dependent due to age before the dependent’s 26th birthday.

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