Many students are uninsured. They are not covered under a parent’s insurance, and they are not yet receiving benefits from a full-time job. Health insurance is vastly important in ensuring overall wellness and avoiding preventable diseases; this is just one reason why every student should have health insurance.
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There are many resources for the uninsured, such as students, and they need them. According to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), adults ages 19-34 accounted for 50% of the growing numbers of the uninsured between 2000 and 2004. Those rates are probably rising with the increasing costs of health care and lower number of employers offering insurance programs to employees.
Why do students need health insurance?
Having health insurance is directly related to good health, the rate of disease and overall wellbeing. Those who have health insurance are more likely to have regular checkups, get immunizations, participate in health screenings, and avoid risky behaviors such as smoking.
Those without health insurance usually find the cost of going to a doctor or filling a prescription a financial burden. This puts those without coverage at greater risk for preventable diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. Emergency rooms and government-sponsored health programs are overburdened with sick or injured individuals who will not be able to pay the costs for services. This creates higher insurance costs for all.
Students need health insurance to ensure they will enter the work force as healthy and fit individuals. They are at a point in their lives that includes many changes and challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2009 statistics show that the 15-19 and 20-24 age brackets were the most likely out of all age brackets to suffer an accident or injury.
This is one reason why the Affordable Care Act of 2010 raised the age that adult children can remain on a parent’s health coverage, regardless of college attendance, to 26.
What are common resources for student health insurance?
Firstly, there is Medicaid. Medicaid is a government-funded, but state-administered, insurance plan for those with low incomes. Each state has its own requirements for eligibility, but you are usually eligible if you are pregnant, blind, or disabled. There are also other requirements that must be met, such as age.
Many states also offer further insurance programs for those with low income or other requirements. State departments of insurance or state health departments can offer resources regarding to the plans and coverage offered.
Another resource is the school that the student attends. Many universities and colleges offer some form of health insurance coverage to students. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that around 1,500 to 2,000 colleges and universities in the United States offer some sort of health plan to students.
Private insurance companies can also offer options and resources for students looking for health insurance coverage. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Insure U site offers information regarding a number of health insurance topics.
What kind of health insurance should students get?
Every student’s individual health care needs will vary, but there are a few areas that everyone should try to cover. Many students already have costly student loans; no one needs high medical payments added on top of existing debt.
Initially, standard doctor’s visits and prescription coverage are desirable for all age groups. Being able to have yearly checkups is a key part of preventative medicine. Also, being able to go to a doctor’s office for illnesses such as infections and viruses, like the flu, are important for overall health. Students should try to get coverage that assists with doctor’s visits and prescription costs.
In addition, all young women should also have coverage for gynecological visits and related testing. This is a must for women’s reproductive health.
Furthermore, all young adult women should have coverage in the event of a pregnancy. Doctor visits and hospital bills are quite costly for a pregnancy. Good health care during pregnancy has been shown to increase the rate of healthy pregnancies for the mother and healthy babies after birth.
Vision and dental insurance are also important benefits to have. The dental care received as a child and young adult has been shown to directly relate to dental and heart health later in life.
Lastly, because of the higher rate of risky behaviors, every young adult should have coverage in the event of an accident. The costs associated with a major accident can rise into the tens of thousands of dollars. High deductible insurance, also called catastrophe insurance, can help to cover medical bills from an accident that would otherwise sink a college student into debt.
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