There are several places to find cheap or even free health insurance for college students. First, most college students under the age of 26 are eligible to be insured under their parents’ health insurance. So if you are currently in school, and your parents or parent has health insurance coverage, talk to them about adding yourself added to their policy.
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In addition, many different health insurance companies offer health insurance plans for college students. Most of these plans have some type of cost associated with them, so be sure to look at all the different options and compare the plans and the benefits of each.
What kind of coverage should I get as a student?
The type of coverage that you need depends on many factors, including whether you are a full-time or a part-time student. Most colleges provide health insurance services to full-time students, including check-ups, vaccinations, and care if you are ill.
In most cases, if you are a full time student, you do not need to purchase additional health care coverage. However, it is best to speak to someone at your college or university who is knowledgeable about the health services available to you.
As a part-time student, you will still be eligible to receive certain care. This depends on the individual college or university, but you can most likely get much of the care you require right on campus.
If health services are not available to you from your school, it may be best to look at a coverage that provides preventative care and coverage for an emergency. Many different health insurance companies offer this type of plan.
What are the different benefits of college student health insurance?
Some of the benefits available to students who have health insurance include the ability to have flexibility with the annual deductibles and at least $500,000 of coverage per condition.
In addition, most plans offer coverage for prescription medications, care for preventative services, coverage for mental health and substance abuse, emergency coverage including financial coverage for evacuations and care for students who become pregnant.
Many plans also offer insurance for tuition costs that are forfeited because of a withdrawal from school due to medical reasons.
Can I get short-term medical insurance as a college student?
Yes, many health insurance plans offer short-term coverage as another option. This plan is best for a student who plans to attend school for less than a year and needs some type of health insurance coverage. Most short-term plans offer:
- Both inpatient and outpatient care
- Coverage for urgent or emergency care
- Hospital care
This coverage is also ideal for college students who have been working and find themselves between jobs, recent college graduates, students who are not eligible to be on their parents’ policy, as well as students or graduates who cannot afford the cost of COBRA.
Are there other types of non-traditional plans available for college students?
Yes, there are health plans known as fixed indemnity plans. These plans plan a set amount to your provider when you receive a service, and you are responsible for any additional costs.
For example, office visits to a doctor can result in a $50 payment from your health insurance plan directly to the provider. If the office visit had a $25 charge, the remainder would be credited to your account.
If the cost were $75, you would be responsible for the additional $25. While this may seem like an inconvenience compared to other plans, remember that your portion of the cost is the only expense you incur, and there is no additional co-payment required.
Is there anything I should look for when getting college student health insurance?
Make sure you are covered in any emergency, as well as covered if you will be away from school such as back home, on vacation or abroad.
In addition, ask for a medical identification card that you can have with you that contain any necessary phone numbers and general information.
There are many different plans available, and not all will be affordable. Start with the basics, ask your parents if you can remain on their coverage, and then ask an official at your college or university if you are covered as a student.
Even if you don’t have complete coverage, you may find that what is offered through your school is enough to get you through two to four years.
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