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A 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.

Michelle’s Law

  • Michelle’s 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 student’s physician.
  • Signed into law on June 22, 2006, the legislation was officially named “Michelle’s Law” and took effect immediately.

for more information contact Ann Marie Morse
P.O. Box 6543, Manchester, NH 03108-6543
Phone: 603.587.0422 Mobile Phone: 603.759.3366

michelles law

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