Student Health Insurance EXPLAINED
Table of Contents
- Student Health Insurance
- How do the students pay for these plans?
- Other Student Health Insurance Options
- Employer-based student health insurance
- Short term student health insurance
- Student Health Insurance Resources
Typically, students in the United States of America have a few solid options when it comes to finding health care plans. The term "student health insurance" can either apply to the health care a student receives at his or her college, or it could just simply mean that a student is seeking out a plan.
Either way, there are actually more options available for a student while at school than after graduating. The first type of student insurance we'll look at is the actual insurance provided by the archetype four-year school.
Both the students and the schools benefit from having most-if not all-students on some type of health insurance program. For the schools providing the health care, they're getting a good package deal and a big return on their investment via healthy, productive students eventually becoming productive adults in society, and ultimately alumni able to speak credibly to the school's effectiveness as an institute of higher learning. For the schools providing the health care, they're getting a good package deal and a big return on their investment via healthy, productive students eventually becoming productive adults in society, and ultimately alumni able to speak credibly to the school's effectiveness as an institute of higher learning. This is true from a Montgomery college campus to a New York campus.
There are thousands upon thousands of colleges throughout the United States, so going over every individual in and out is nearly impossible, especially considering they're constantly changing. But some universal aspects can be covered pertaining to schools offering the choice to buy into their health care group pools.
A school's insurance pool would work basically like an employer's insurance group pool, with some more restrictions in order to save money. Students won't necessarily have a lot of options available to them in terms of freedom of choice if they're involved in the school's plan.
Some schools will even have an on-campus doctor and/or medical facilities that students must visit when ill if they expect for the insurance to cover the cost. Anything outside of the predestinated care, of course, will cost the student extra.
How do the students pay for these plans?
Since most of the major colleges in America now actually require students to have health care, the schools offering it to their students do so by upping the ante of tuition. The student can choose to pay an add-on. But if they do not take the school's insurance, they must find it elsewhere if they are required by the school.
Some colleges are especially stringent with their insurance requirements. Many schools in the US require all students to show proof of insurance when they're enrolling in the university. If you're already paying for this via tuition/registration, then you should have your proof of insurance.
Even schools that are requiring students to have health insurance will only require it of a full-time student. Scholarship athletes, like sporting athletes and academic scholars, will also have the option of receiving "free" health care as part of their scholarship package. Each school will have its own policy, however.
Students signing up for their respective school's health plan will be covered from the time the insurance kicks in (generally before the start of classes) until the time they graduate. There may or may not be an automatic termination clause in the insurance plan that cancels it after graduation; if not, it is the school's responsibility to have the insurance cancelled.
Other Student Health Insurance Options
Not all schools are going to offer health insurance to their students. And even the schools that do find that not every student wants to sign up for their coverage. Not only are students denied the freedom to pick their own doctors and choose their own procedures, but the overall theme of the care can be a bit "generic" at times, especially for students with more serious medical ailments.
Another strong option for a student will be to enter into a private plan via an employer.
If you're a student athlete, the university may have restrictions against working a regular job while you're attending the school. If not, then an employer-based health care package is ultimately the best way to go if you're seeking medical care for your duration at school.
Read more about employer-based health care package here.
Students choosing to work a job while in college can greatly benefit from receiving their health insurance through an employer; and if they're required by the school to carry some type of insurance plan, this is a win-win situation for everyone involved. The student gets better all-around insurance, with far more freedom in choosing and better overall coverage, and the school has no grievance whatsoever due to its student being covered.
Employer-based student health insurance
Employer-based health insurance is a requirement in some states and with some companies. However, there will be a waiting period. The insurance doesn't start as soon as the student suits up for the job. There's a probationary period that's determined by each individual employer.
If a student and/or the school has a problem with this waiting period, then another solid option that the student can use to his or her advantage is the short term (or temporary) health insurance plan.
Short term student health insurance
Short term insurance will most likely be given to any student unless he or she is pregnant, has a serious disorder, or has been turned down for an insurance policy due to health reasons previously.
Since most students are in the 18-22 age range and are healthy, they're often instantly approved for short term coverage plans.
There are some positives and negatives for any student wishing to sign up for a temporary plan, though, so make sure it's right for you before proceeding.
On the positive side, temporary plans provide a wide range of benefits for the student. Almost every medical expense incurred will be covered, and unless an illness requires drastic measures that total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the short term coverage will pay for it (after a deductible).
Another big benefit of short term plans for students is the short activation time. If your school requires it, then they won't be waiting long. Most short term plans are activated within 24 hours of approval.
Negatives of this plan can include the price. Although they're not necessarily more expensive than any other private insurance plan, they will cost more than an employer-based group plan. This can be a hard bill to pay consistently for a student.
Another downside to this type of insurance is that temporary plans are maxed out after a year. You cannot keep this insurance for the duration of your learning if you're attending for more than one full year.
If you do not have a short term plan, an employer-based plan or even a school-group plan, then you may be attending a university with more options. It's up to you to check, but some colleges have medical facilities either on campus or nearby that provide low-cost health care to students. (This pertains only to students whose schools do not mandate coverage.)
One important thing to remember is that it is your choice how you get your insurance. Even if the college is requiring you to carry insurance in order to attend their school, you can still get insurance any way you see fit and do not have to sign up for their requested or group plans. You can go your own way and get an employer-based plan, short term plan, private plan, or, if you qualify, keep coverage under your parents' plan.
Parent-child communication is imperative in this step, as no amount of information you read elsewhere can tell you what type of insurance plan your parents are carrying.
Check with them, find out what type of insurance they're carrying, and you may find that you're still covered as a dependent on your parents' plan. This will provide the same type of coverage as a private or short term plan, only you won't have to pay any out-of-pocket costs.
Whichever type of insurance you choose to go with, it's important you do your research beforehand to make sure you're making the best decision. Even though most young adults are at their healthiest in their early twenties, health is still nothing to take for granted. Do your due diligence and make sure you're fully covered with a good plan.
Student Health Insurance Resources
About Student Health Insurance. Part of the series: Insurance Information. Student health insurance can typically be obtained through existing coverage from the parents. Basic health services are also frequently offered by the college health center.
If you are still under your parents' health insurance, but will soon attend college or move out on your own, it’s time for you to start reviewing how you will cover your student health insurance needs
Definition of Student Health Insurance. Student health insurance covers students while they are enrolled at school full-time.
If you're going off to college, you need student health insurance. Going to college is one of the most important things you can do to secure your financial future. But what happens if you get sick or injured while you're there?