Everyone needs health insurance, including college students. If you are heading off to college in the fall, it is important to make sure you have health insurance, find out where to go in case you become sick or injured, and choose a pharmacy to fill your prescriptions. As for health insurance, the following are three possible options for students attending college.
Stay on Your Parents’ Health Insurance Plan
Many employers offer group health plans as part of their employee benefits package, and many families today have health insurance. If you are on your parents’ plan, it may be your best option to stay on it when you go to college. Students may remain on their parent’s health plans until they turn 26. If you are attending college in a different state than where your parents live, contacting the insurance company for details about out-of-state coverage is a good idea.
Enroll in a Student Health Plan
Many schools offer student health plans. This could be a convenient and affordable way to get basic health insurance coverage while in college if family coverage is unavailable. An estimated 3 million students in the U.S. are covered through student health plans offered by institutions of higher education, as reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). However, not all student health plans are alike. While some are comprehensive, others offer limited benefits. If your college offers a student health plan, contact the school for details.
Purchase Health Insurance on the Marketplace
Another option for health insurance coverage is to buy it on the marketplace. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may qualify for financial help from the government to pay for your health plan. If you will be living in a different state than your parents, you may enroll in a plan in the state where your school is located. When you move to attend college, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, which would allow you to enroll in a health plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period.
When you are young and healthy, it is easy to believe you don’t need health insurance or it is not worth the expense. No one plans to get sick or be involved in an accident, but bad things happen to good people every day. A few days in the hospital can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Treatment for a fractured bone can cost thousands. Having large medical bills to pay out of your own pocket could be a huge financial burden. In addition, having health insurance makes it possible to get the care you need when you need it, as the decision to seek treatment will be based on what is best for your health, not on money.
If you are attending college and need health insurance coverage, speak with our friendly agent. We can help you find an affordable health plan that suits your needs.