Boston University School of Law

JD992 Health Insurance, Health Reform and the Law (S)


The seminar examines the pivotal role of insurance in health reform, health policy and the distribution of health care in the US. We explore how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affects the design, operation, and regulation of health benefit plans, as well as the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Investigating arguments for and against specific regulations, we learn fundamentals of insurance and whether reforms affect larger principles of law. We also study Massachusetts, the model for federal health reform, and the comparative advantages of federal and state governance. Students explore the changing roles of insurance in the health system by analyzing and comparing federal and state laws governing different health benefit plans (including indemnity insurance, managed care, consumer choice, and health promotion plans), and how reforms affect current law, including state licensure, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Topics include basic concepts of insurance; accepting, managing and shifting financial risk; individual and employer mandates; health insurance exchanges; contracting with providers, employers, and individuals; designing and administering plans; defining benefits; and appeals and remedies. PREREQUISITE: JD 867 (Health Law) or JD 926 (Public Health Law) or LW 751 (Public Health Law at BUSPH) or permission of instructor. NOTE: This seminar satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT: A limited number of students may elect to use this course to fulfill the upper-class writing requirement with permission of the instructor. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who waitlist for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.