While you are a student, health insurance is likely to be the least of your concerns. However, it is an important decision to take care of, especially if you already have an educational loan to worry about and don’t want to add to the debt. Without proper insurance, you might have to cover your entire medical bills on your own in case an emergency arises.
Even if you are physically fit, your healthcare is not something you want to gamble on. To write this article, we had approached college students to know whether they think insurance is important. Many consider it essential, much like having a professional paper writing service like WritePaper as a backup to finish academic assignments. This way, if you get sick, you do not have to worry about the expenses to get medical attention or compromise your grades.
If you are wondering how to find the right insurance for you, this article can help you with that.
- Parent’s Health Insurance
Needless to say, this can be the most convenient, as well as an affordable option. If you are under 26 years old (or 29 in New York), your parents can keep you on their existing insurance plan. This means that if you are going to school in the same state, you will be able to cover your medical expenses this way.
However, before you finalize this option, you should be aware of some shortcomings. For instance, many health insurance plans tend to be specific for each state in the US and might not be accessible to you if you are studying elsewhere. Secondly, you might want to check with your parents if they are fine with handling the costs. If not, you might want to consider taking up a part-time job and reimbursing them or finding a cheaper alternative.
- College-Sponsored Insurance
This might be the next cheapest option for students who can’t benefit from their parent’s insurance. Most colleges partner with health insurance providers to offer coverage to their students. If this information is not listed on the website, you can contact the campus office directly for more details.
Moreover, these insurance plans are affordable to students and might even include free access to on-campus medical centers. The coverage might be for a full semester, with a few weeks of overlap. That said, this is not without its disadvantages. Most college insurance plans might not cover mental health issues
It will also be an ineffective option for those who have to use the same insurance to cover their spouse and children.
If you are not a dependent in any way, you can also consider benefiting from Medicaid. This is offered by the state but is federally funded for those individuals in need. However, the eligibility is based on income requirements based on the location. Students might also have to meet additional conditions such as family size or disability in some US states.
You can access Medicaid by registering an account with healthcare.gov. Once you provide your details, the website determines if you are eligible for the insurance. If so, you will be redirected to the state agency that manages Medicaid. The benefits and availability of Medicaid are influenced heavily by your state and where you go to school.
- Catastrophic Insurance
In simple terms, Catastrophic insurance is a type of health plan that provides coverage in times of emergencies and preventive care. In order to be eligible for this, you need to be less than 30 years old or qualify for an exemption due to hardship or financial constraints.
These are available via healthcare.gov or through other insurance companies. The key advantage is that these plans offer you minimum essential requirements. The premiums are much lower when compared to other market providers and cover all the vital benefits. However, there is a catch; the insurance extends only to three primary health care visits a year.
If you are physically fit and need only routine checkups annually, you might want to consider a catastrophic plan. These are affordable and offer you access to health care. That said, choosing this plan can make you ineligible for subsidies to cover premiums. We suggest that you read the fine print if you want to check out this option.
- Short-Term Health Insurance
Unlike most insurance policies that are renewed annually, short-term health insurance offers you an option for three to four months. These have fewer restrictions, but you might not be offered coverage when applying.
Crucially, some states also do not facilitate short-term health coverage. If you want to consider this option, you can apply via a third-party provider. In simple terms, the healthier the insurance, the cheaper the premiums are. However, these often do not cover prescription medicines, maternity care, or substance-abuse treatment.
Moreover, any treatment required due to pre-existing conditions might also not be covered. So, based on your requirements, this insurance can be very limited in terms of how much it pays out at the end of the day.
- Employer-Sponsored Insurance
If you are a working student, then you might also be able to avail yourself of insurance sponsored by your employer. However, these are often provided for those who work full-time, but it can vary between two organizations.
For those who have a job, full-time or part-time, you might want to contact the human resources officer to find out the options. If you are eligible, you only have to fill out a form or two to start the plan. The specifics of the plan might depend on the options selected by your employer.
Additionally, you can expect to pay premiums as direct and automatic deductions from your paycheck. The notable advantage is that getting health insurance this way can get you a better deal at a lower cost. Employers would have partnered with insurance companies to offer you packages and benefits that might not be accessible via other plans listed here.
Moreover, you might also be able to choose any add-ons, such as dental, vision, or toad an independent.
Needless to say, this might not be a viable option for all students and often comes at high costs when compared to the other options we have discussed above. In addition to this, it will also be difficult for you to work full-time and focus on academics.
Insurance Plans for Students to Consider
To help make this easier, here we have a list of some of the best insurance providers in the market that offers decent coverage at a low cost for students:
- Cigna – Decent coverage options and competitive premiums, along with ACA financial assistance.
- Everest – Best short-term insurance policy from multiple providers
- Aetna – Best for catastrophic insurance policy
- IMG – Best for international students and includes coverage for prescription medicines
When choosing health insurance, you should evaluate the choices carefully. You need to find the best based on your requirements and other factors such as total cost, availability, access, and financial stability rating. If you are on a tight budget, we recommend that you pay closer attention to the best package that offers comprehensive coverage at low premiums.