The ABC’s of Student Health Insurance

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Going off to college is an exciting time for most young people, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of these is proof of adequate health insurance, which most colleges and universities require.

Parent Health Insurance Plans

The great majority of college students will be covered by their parents’ health insurance plans, but other options, such as student health insurance plans, are extremely affordable and easily available. Since a parent’s plan has already paid for a child’s coverage, buying a student policy may seem like an unnecessary and redundant expense. Depending on your college or university, you may be able to opt out of the mandatory student health plan with proper proof of insurance. If your college automatically enrolls you in its student health plan you will see the charges in your student fees.

Student Health Care Considerations

There are, nonetheless, some important questions regarding student health insurance that both parents and students will want to explore. These include:

  • Differences in Coverage
    An important plus to a student health insurance policy could be that it offers coverage that a parent’s policy doesn’t. This can be very important if, for example, a student has a preexisting condition that a parent’s insurance provider refuses to cover. Families will want to stick with their current family health insurance plan if it covers important treatment.
  • Differences in Price
    A student health insurance policy can be quite affordable since students are, by and large, young and in good health. It’s conceivable that a student insurance premium could cost less than what the parents would be paying.
  • HMO and PPO Network Availability
    Where a student goes to school could play a big roll in a family’s health insurance decision-making process. If a Los Angeles-area student is covered by her mother’s HMO, and she decides to go to school in Vermont, she may discover that there are no network physicians in that area for her to use. Using the school’s health insurance plan will be the most likely choice. If she decides to go to school in Los Angeles, she’ll have access to her mothers HMO network, making her school’s policy redundant.
  • Portability
    Graduating students may want to enroll in their college or university’s plan if they can maintain it after they’ve graduated. Almost all college graduates will need it, seeing as their parents’ plan will no longer cover them once they’re on their own.