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- College students are still eligible for coverage under by parents’ health insurance plans
- Many companies offer individual coverage at a low price and with low deductibles to make it possible for students to obtain coverage
- If you cannot afford full coverage, you can get a major medical plan, which will cover catastrophic illness and hospitalization for a relatively low price, often less than $20 per month
Although most young people in college aren’t worried about having health insurance, it is a necessary part of attending school and protecting yourself in case you get sick.
Many options are available to college students when seeking health insurance and many health insurance plans even specifically target this group.
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Health Insurance under a Parents Plan
Many college students are still covered by their parents’ health insurance plans. In fact, this is the most common way for students to have health insurance.
New laws have allowed students to stay on parents’ plans until they reach the age of 26, which in most cases is long enough to get a degree and start a job.
However, there are some drawbacks to this method of insuring college students. Many students leave home to attend college.
If the parents’ health insurance is an HMO or PPO plan, there may be no in-network providers close by to attend to a student’s healthcare needs.
If this is the case, the parents will end up paying much more for services if the student is required to seek healthcare treatment.
In other cases, health insurance companies charge high deductibles and since college students often need little treatment beyond routine doctor’s visits, their parents may end up with a high out-of-pocket expense and little coverage by their company.
Individual Health Insurance for Students
A better option may be to seek individual healthcare coverage for a college student while that person is in school.
Many companies offer this coverage at a low price and with low deductibles to make it possible for students to obtain coverage.
Some students also choose to purchase their own coverage as their parents are either uninsured or not willing to cover the student under their own plans.
Emergency Health Insurance Plans
Finally, some students choose to study abroad, or are sent to the United States to study, and are not covered by health care plans from their home countries.
In this case, it is vital to secure an insurance policy which will cover your student in case of emergency needs.
What are the types of health insurance available for students?
There are three basic types of student health insurance coverage. The first is a renewable-term healthcare policy which has a set limit of time, such as twelve months, in which coverage is active.
These policies range from minimum major medical coverage to full-coverage plans which include pharmacy and dental plans.
The more coverage you have, the more you will pay for premiums; however, deductibles are often low and premiums are more reasonable than many family plans.
Another type of coverage is the part-time student coverage for individuals who work and attend school at the same time.
This type of coverage is basically designed to be temporary until the student obtains full coverage from work or finishes school.
Many of the same options are available with these plans as those of regular student plans, although there could be additional requirements regarding hours taken per quarter or semester to insure that the person is actually attending school on at least a part-time basis.
The third type of insurance is graduate insurance, which provides temporary coverage for those who are working on higher degrees, but also searching for a job.
In this case, the coverage will probably be renewed on a month-to-month basis, as most people choose to take health insurance from their company once they obtain employment.
There is also international insurance available for students studying in other countries. This type of insurance varies greatly in cost and coverage depending on where the student attends school.
Each state offers slightly different options when it comes to healthcare coverage plans. If your child is attending school in a distant state, it is important to familiarize yourself with that state’s laws regarding healthcare coverage.
If you already have a policy with a national carrier, such as United Health Care or Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the transition to another state’s insurance coverage will probably be easier than if you are dealing with an entirely new company.
However, most large insurance companies have specific student plans for every state, so it’s a good idea to inquire about student health insurance.
If you are currently uninsured, try an internet search for “student health insurance.” This will put you in touch with several companies.
If you cannot afford full coverage, you can get a major medical plan, which will cover catastrophic illness and hospitalization for a relatively low price, often less than $20 per month.
It’s never too early to prepare for your future! Use our FREE online tool to compare affordable health insurance quotes!
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