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What are my options on health insurance for college?

graduate seeks options for college health insuranceCollege is an interesting time in a young adult’s life– it is one rite of passage from childhood to adulthood that includes taking on more responsibilities. College students often live away from home and become responsible for their own bills. Health insurance bills may be one of the costs that undergraduates take on, or they might be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance policy, with their parents still paying for coverage.

You can get health insurance quotes for students of all ages by entering your zip code in the free toolbox on this page!

Standard health insurance policies usually cover all of the insured’s dependents through to age 19, but some do extend coverage for dependents attending college full-time through to the age of 23. Obviously, you’d have to check with your individual insurance provider or read the fine print in your health insurance policy.

Would there be any problems in keeping my college-age child on my policy?

There are some issues of which you do need to be aware when keeping your child on your family health insurance policy. Check to see if your college-bound child will lose coverage if their course load falls under a minimum number of credits, at which point they might be considered merely a part-time student.

Often, a health insurance company has extended coverage to a child dependent because they’re a full-time student, which shows that they’re not on their own yet, earning an income. If they drop to part-time status, the provider will assume your child has picked up a part-time job and can pay for their own health insurance.

Another possible problem your child may have with remaining on your health insurance plan is that there might not be any in-network providers located near to where your child attends school. This might not be a problem with some of the larger, national health insurance companies, but if you’re enrolled with one specific to your state and your child goes to school out-of-state, it can definitely be an issue. If this is the case, you might have to pay 80% of the cost of each doctor visit your child makes while at school.

Are there any insurance plans specifically for college students?

With so many college students needing health insurance, you can bet that there are insurance plans designed specifically for health coverage at college.

As Texas Health Options, a resource from the Texas Department of Insurance, points out, some colleges and universities offer their own health insurance coverage. This makes it easier on the student and the parents since so many schools require health insurance as a prerequisite of attendance.

Major insurance companies, such as UnitedHealthcare, offer student plans through the schools. You can call the college’s health office or simply search the UnitedHealthcare website to see if your child’s college is one of the plans they administer.

Your child may also qualify for health coverage through one of the organizations or associations they’ve joined at college or graduate school. For example, graduate students at CUNY School of Law are eligible for health coverage through the American Bar Association.

Is health insurance specifically for college students expensive?

The good news is that health insurance for undergraduates and graduates tends to be less expensive than health insurance for typical adults. The reason for this is that most college students tend to be young, and in the healthiest time of their lives. Additionally, these types of policies tend to be short-term policies, as college is supposed to last four years. Tuition fees also subsidize some school health insurance policies.

Is college health insurance comprehensive?

Typically, health insurance plans for students is not comprehensive. Because students can often get free or low-cost treatment at a college’s student health center, these plans often limit preventative care.

Parents can purchase supplemental health insurance coverage, including vision and dental plans, if your children’s college chose to include these plans with their health benefits. Otherwise, you will have to purchase the policies separately with dental insurance providers such as HumanaOne. Prescription drug benefits are also part of standard student health insurance.

For students involved in athletics at the collegiate level, the university’s athletic department will sell accident insurance coverage. UnitedHealthcare’s coverage for athletes has a maximum $75,000 covered expense over a two-year benefit period. This insurance covers injuries on the field and during practice, such as sprains and broken bones, as well as serious injuries such as heat exhaustion and stroke.

Make sure your college student is fully protected by entering your zip code below and comparing health insurance quotes today!