Governor Lynch Signs "Michelle's Law"

For Immediate Release

 June 22, 2006

Contact: Communications Director
Office of the Governor

CONCORD - Joined by the family of Michelle Morse and legislators, Gov. John Lynch today signed "Michelle's Law," helping ensure that college students do not lose their health insurance when they need it most.

The legislation, HB 37, ensures that seriously ill college students can continue to receive health care insurance through their family's health insurance policy even if they are unable to maintain their full-time student status.

"College students should not lose their health insurance just when they need it the most. Now, in New Hampshire, they won't. Michelle's Law will provide an important protection for New Hampshire families," Gov. Lynch said.

Michelle Morse was a student at a Plymouth State University when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Although her doctor suggested she take a leave of absence from school, Michelle Morse maintained a full course schedule in order to keep her health insurance coverage. Michelle Morse died in November.

"College students with life-threatening illnesses will now be able to take the advice of their doctors and still keep their health insurance. That is because of the courage and commitment of Michelle and her family. Michelle passed away in November. But her memory lives on, and with this law she leaves a legacy that will make a difference in the lives of other young people," Gov. Lynch said.

Joining Gov. Lynch was Michelle's mother and father, AnnMarie and Glen Morse, and her brother, Michael.

The legislation, which had strong bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, was sponsored by Representatives William Infantine, Ben Baroody, Raymond Herbert, Keith Hirschman, and Jeffrey Aboshar.

Gov. Lynch also acknowledged the efforts of a number of legislators who worked closely with the Morse family on the legislation, including Representatives John DeJoie and Sheila Francoeur, and Senators David Gottesman and Bob Flanders.

Michelle's law takes effect immediately.