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Health Insurance Students - Purchasing Health Insurance Coverage for Students

health insurance options plans and coverage

Many college students need health insurance coverage because they have aged out of their parent’s health insurance plan. Another reason students search for health coverage is because their parents belong to a managed care plan and the student attends college outside the managed care plan’s service area. As it is not advisable for anyone to be without health insurance, students often find themselves having to research insurance options. Since students may get married while in college, finding coverage for married individuals can also present a challenge.

Health Insurance Options

There are several ways to obtain health insurance for college students. One way is to research major insurance companies that primarily provide group insurance who have health insurance policies for college students. Then there are companies whose main purpose is to indemnify students by offering health insurance.

Some schools of higher education may offer student health insurance through their Student Health Service. These programs are usually offered by the larger colleges and/or universities.

Plans and Coverage

The majority of college student health insurance plans provide comprehensive medical coverage, that is, health coverage for illness and hospitalization. The plans do not normally cover preventive care. Maximum allowable dollar amount of coverage per illness range from $50,000 to $500,000, and there are generally deductibles that must be met before coverage begins. A deductible is the amount of out-of-pocket money that must be paid towards medical expenses by the student before the insurance kicks in, and can be as low as $250 or as high as $2,500.

Comprehensive major medical plans usually also have co-insurance requirements. Co-insurance is the amount of out-of-pocket money a person has to pay along with the insurance company payment. Comprehensive major medical plans usually pay 70 to 80 percent of hospital bills, with the patient being responsible for the remaining percentage amount.

There are plans that provide mental health benefits, outpatient surgical coverage, urgent care facilities, and even coverage for speech and occupational therapy.

Getting a Student Health Insurance Quote

Obtaining information on rates and coverage levels for college student health insurance can be done several ways, from trying to find an insurance broker that handles health insurance for students, to calling individual health insurance companies. But the quickest and easiest way is to find student health insurance quotes online.

A student can enter basic information on a site that specializes in providing college student health insurance, such as what school the student is attending, birth date, sex, and anticipated dates coverage will begin and end. A few questions may be asked regarding health status and the need for single or married coverage. The online site will then probably give several quotes on student health insurance plans that will include coverage levels, deductibles and co-insurance levels, hospitalization coverage, and emergency room benefits. Some plans may offer dental and prescription drug coverage as either part of the basic insurance package or as add-ons with additional costs.

If the online site only lists one company, the student should continue the search until they find at least three different quotes and options for the particular school or geographic area.

Rates are calculated in several ways.

•Short term student health insurance is available for coverage less than 12 months.
•Annual insurance plans cover students for a 12 month period.
•Temporary insurance can provide coverage for as short a period as one month.

Rates are based on the term of the student health insurance plan selected, the levels of coverage, and the amounts of the deductibles and coinsurance. An individual college student’s health insurance plan can cost anywhere from $600 to over $800 for a six month period, and an average of $1,500 annually. Policies for married students can cost upwards of $3,000 annually.

Health insurance for college students typically costs less than regular insurance plans because most student health services provides discounted care for routine illnesses. College students are on the insurance plans for a limited amount of time, while they are in school, so the risk of catastrophic illnesses is reduced. College students are also young and most are in relatively good health.

There are several good options available to get a quote on student health insurance coverage.

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