Student Health Insurance

February 23, 2017

Student Health Insurance Plans
With the possible exception of exposure to Kryptonite, most college students are impervious to illness or injury and are understandably ambivalent about their need for health insurance. College students should obtain health insurance to cover treatment that is beyond the scope of their college or university health centers. While health centers can assess and treat many common college illnesses, such as yeast infections, migraine headaches, and viral upper respiratory infections, you need a student health insurance plan to cover serious health problems requiring more extensive diagnostic effort or in-patient treatment.

High Quality Health Insurance Benefits
Most student health plans allow you to choose the doctor you want; they can be configured to cover you year-round, not just when school is in session; they will allow you to renew your policy, even after you graduate. To be eligible to enroll in many of these plans, you must be a full-time student at an accredited college or university, and under the age of thirty.

Should you Stay on your Parent’s Health Insurance Plan?
Often, college students are on their parent’s health insurance policy, or have no insurance at all. As convenient as this may sound, there are reasons why you might want to consider enrolling in a student health insurance plan.

  • Depending on your parent’s health insurance plan, you may only be eligible for coverage on their plan till you are 21, 25, or 30 years old.
  • 30 percent of college students do not have health insurance. Since many colleges and universities offer student health insurance, it can be easily initiated at registration for classes.
  • Some colleges and universities require you to enroll in their health insurance regardless of other coverage.
  • The parent’s plan might not cover services in the area where you are attending college.
  • Your parent’s health insurance might not cover intramural or varsity sports injuries.

How to Save Money on Student Health Insurance
With the cost of health insurance on the rise, finding ways to save money on student health insurance can help you afford the best possible coverage.

  • Compare Coverage and Rates to Get the Best Deal.
    Not all insurers offer the same coverage at the same price. Compare insurers and plug into a plan with the benefits you will most likely use.
  • Choose a Policy With Fewer Convenience Options.
    You will pay more for convenience, including the luxury of choosing your doctor or medical facilities. A student health insurance plan which operates with a specific group of doctors, laboratories and hospitals will cost you less.
  • Choose a higher deductible
    The deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay on medical services before your insurance begins to pay. The higher you set the deductible on your health policy, the less you pay for the policy.

Know the Different Types of Student Health Insurance Plans
Learn about the various types of health insurance to make an informed choice.

  • HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations)
    A managed care system, HMOs impose small out of pocket charges called co-payments and emphasize preventive care and limit access to care to contracted providers. The down-side is that specialized care may be difficult to obtain and you may not be covered for receiving care outside of the system.
  • PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations)
    A PPO can be a group of doctors or hospitals which organize in order to provide health services to specific groups. They are a managed health care system similar to HMOs. There is usually more paperwork required to receive reimbursement for medical treatment and their co-pays are larger than those of HMOs.
  • POS (Point of Service) Plans
    A Point of Service Plan is a hybrid of the HMO and PPO systems where no deductible exists and a small co-pay is required. You must receive care from the contracted providers and obtain approval from your designated family physician for specialized care. Like the HMO and PPO, POSs may ask for a substantial co-pay for non-contracted care.

Student Health Insurance Benefits
Medical expenses, even an ambulance ride to the hospital can max out a credit card before you can say “Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.” The central benefit of Student Health Insurance is peace of mind. You probably will not need it, but it can be invaluable if you ever do need it. Gambling on whether or not you stay healthy or free from injury is playing Russian Roulette. Do You Feel Lucky? Well, Do Ya?