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Health Insurance Tips For College Students

Alvin Nelson
February 3, 2021
Alvin Nelson

health insurance tips for college students

Becoming an adult at the age of 18 comes with a whole new list of responsibilities. One thing to consider is health insurance. Oftentimes, parents can carry college students under their health insurance until the student reaches the age of 26. If that is a possibility, that might be the best-case scenario for healthcare.

Other options include using a healthcare plan provided by the college if there is one. Or, college students now have the option of applying for independent healthcare. With just the click of a button, a college student can receive several different healthcare quotes. Depending on cost and how much healthcare coverage will be needed, the student can then select the plan that is best for them.

Before signing up to select healthcare, students should take their time and compare each of the quotes available to them, as there can be a vast difference in both cost and coverage.

The most important thing a college student can do is to start the process of getting different health insurance quotes so they can compare the options and decide which one is best for them to purchase.

Use Parents’ Health Insurance if Possible

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! If a college student has the option of remaining under the same health insurance they have for years that might be the easiest, and most cost-efficient choice for the student. The parents would need to read the fine print on their insurance policy, as some plans are designed to allow children to be covered up to the age of 26 as long as they are enrolled as a full-time college student.

There are different rules in different states that dictate whether or not a student is eligible to reaming covered under his parents’ health plan. Read the fine print, and in some cases, it can come down to whether the student remains in state to go to college or if he goes out of state.

The good news is, many times when students graduate college they enter the workforce with a company that provides health insurance. So, a bridge from their parents’ health plans to a company’s health plan might be irrelevant if the student can stay on his parents’ plan the entire time. When considering any type of health insurance for a college student, remember that it is likely temporary as he might gain eligibility into a company-sponsored healthcare plan when he graduates.

What Healthcare Insurance is offered by the College?

Does the college have a health insurance marketplace? If it does, in many cases it might be more expensive than if the student were to get his own, independent student health insurance plan, but it is still an option worth considering. Students should price insurance offered by the college with what is available on the open market to see what plans would work.

Every college is different, and college students can get information from the administrative offices at the college as to if any healthcare options are available and what they might be. Keep in mind that plans offered by the college might be more expensive than if the student shopped for his own health insurance through a third-party provider.

Student health plans do typically meet the minimum requirements for healthcare and could be a viable option if available, so students should definitely check into this option before making a decision on an insurable plan.

college students health insurance

Acquire Independent Healthcare

Perhaps the best way to get healthcare as a college student is to apply for it independently. Students can apply here to get started today! By applying, the student will receive a list of different quotes, so he will be able to ultimately choose the right plan that meets his needs based on cost and coverage. There is no better way to select a plan than to wade through the different available options.

The nice thing about independent healthcare is that students can pick and choose what works for them. If the student is healthy and only needs catastrophic coverage that might be an option. Or, there are a variety of other tiers of healthcare depending on how many health expenses the student anticipates having in a given year.

Healthcare options

When looking for healthcare, there are a few things to keep in mind that will all change the amount of coverage required and the overall cost of the healthcare plan.

  • Deductibles – this means how much a college student will need to spend before insurance kicks in and picks up the rest of the bill. The amount of the deductible is variable. For a lower deductible, you will have a premium. A student might want to consider a lower deductible if he has a chronic illness and anticipates having a lot of healthcare costs throughout the year.
  • Premiums – for most health insurance, the premium is deducted weekly out of a paycheck. For college students, they would be expected to pay this premium most likely on a monthly basis. The balance again is with the deductible. Deductibles are not a guaranteed expense, as if the student has no health problems throughout the year there will be no money to pay. If the student is healthy, he might want to consider a lower premium and a higher deductible, banking on the fact that he might not ever need to spend the deductible.
  • Maximum yearly spending – consider an insurance plan that just covers the bare minimum. The student would accrue minimal costs throughout the year. While there would not be much that the insurance covers, it would cover the student in the event of a catastrophic injury.
  • Pre-tax spending – most healthcare plans allow people to spend money before tax for flex spending accounts, and this type of money can be used on things like over the counter medicines, toothbrushes, Band-Aids, and other medical expenses.

Remember the plan that works for one college student might not work for his roommate. Everyone has different healthcare needs. While some might be facing chronic illness or be worried about sports injuries, others might not be in need of a very extensive healthcare plan.

Income-Based Insurance and other Discounts

In some cases, health insurance might be prorated based on income. For college students, this is great news as they typically have little to no income. However, some insurance companies lump in the parents’ income with the students and raise rates if they are high earners. When students apply for health insurance, they should inquire as to if there are any discounts based on income.

Consider that there might be discounts too if health insurance is paired up with another insurance. College students might be able to get health insurance through the same company that does their auto or renter’s insurance. In this case, there should be a discount for an insurance bundle that could be well worth the investment.

What Happens without Healthcare in College?

College students are invincible, or so most of them seem to think. Nothing bad could ever happen and the world is their oyster. Unfortunately, bad things do happen and to good people too. Illness and injury can sneak up at any time. Without healthcare, students could face bills that they are forced to pay for the rest of their lives.

Given the nature of college campuses, diseases like mono tend to run rampant. Just a trip to the doctors for some bloodwork and medicines could cost students thousands of dollars if they don’t healthcare.

While premiums might be annoying to pay, they are almost always cheaper than whatever health even the student will face.

In the United States, it is also illegal to go without health insurance. Students would be faced with steep tax penalties if they do not carry health insurance, this is to alleviate some of the financial burdens off hospitals who still would provide health care even if students could not pay for it.

What’s the Easiest Way for a College Student to get Health Insurance?

The easiest way, and most cost-efficient way, is definitely to get quotes for insurance by clicking here. Getting quotes does not obligate a student to choose one of them for their health insurance needs. Just because a student applies for insurance does not mean he is signing up for it and obligated to make payments.

However, these quotes can give a detailed breakdown of everything that is covered under that insurance. Reviewing these quotes is going to provide students with the information they need in order to select the right health plan to meet their needs. From costs to coverage, only a detailed quote can truly provide the specifics. Without applying and looking at quotes, the student cannot make a decision about his healthcare.
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