Does my child need school health insurance?
The answer is maybe. It can often be expensive to keep school age children on your family health insurance policy, and the costs go up significantly as they enter high school and beyond. A school health insurance policy may be a better choice for you and you might be able to save a good deal of money by buying such a policy for your school age children.
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Remember that it is often required that students have health care coverage while enrolled in colleges and universities. If your child participates in athletics at any level, such a policy may be mandatory as well. It makes sense to check out a school health insurance policy to see if the costs and advantages outweigh keeping your children on your family policy.
What types of school health insurance are there for K-12 students and what do they cover?
K-12 student policies are generally designed to cover medical expenses resulting from accidents involving students, including athletic injuries. They can offer 24-hour coverage, so the child can be covered outside of school hours. Many plans feature extended dental coverage and most plans offer some form of catastrophic coverage for school related injuries that may require long-term medical care.
In addition to health care coverage, these policies usually have an accidental death benefit as well. Many companies require no deductible payments for their K-12 plans.
What type of school health insurance is there for college students and what does it cover?
College students generally must buy their own health care insurance, or sign up for one offered by the school. While the institutional package may be cheaper, it is good to remember that they are protecting against their own liability for the most part and that a private policy obtained for the student will often be better in terms of benefits for the child.
College plans will usually have a schedule listing covered injury or sickness and benefit amounts that will be paid. Prescription drugs are often offered as an additional option with most policies. The plan can also include deductibles and co-payment amounts in which you would be responsible. Many insurance companies waive the deductible if the condition is treated or referred by a college’s health service office.
Some plans pay agreed upon percentages for covered injuries and illnesses using the coinsurance model. A difference from the standard coinsurance setup is that the percentages you are responsible for go down as the dollar amount of claims goes up. For example, it may pay 80% of the first $5,000 of covered conditions, then pay 90% up to $10,000 and 100% benefits paid for expenses above that amount.
Married college students may be able to cover their spouse on the policy, although the benefits and premiums may differ from that afforded the student themselves.
What are some general concerns?
If you are switching from a family insurance plan to a school plan, check to see if continuous coverage is available from the previous insurance company. It may be required that no lapse in insurance has occurred for this to apply. A lapse in insurance may cause premium rates to be higher than they otherwise would be.
Check to see if attendance in daycare, preschools or afterschool programs are covered if your child attends one of these as there may be exceptions for them. Additionally summer camps and church group activity may or may not be covered, it is wise to ask about these activities specifically if your child participates in them.
Are there cost advantages to these separate policies?
There can be, and a thorough comparison of different company’s plans, benefits, and costs will help you to determine that and find what is best for you. Make a list of all activities your child participates in, include any special needs, and make sure you get answers to all your questions before you decide on a policy.
Where can I check out companies offering these policies?
Insurance company ratings can be found and reviewed at the A.M. Best Company website, where you can evaluate a company’s strengths and reliability. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to check if any complaints are on file concerning the company’s performance and customer service.
To find health insurance quotes online quickly and easily, simply type your zip code into the free box on this page to compare rates now!