Student Health Insurance Author:    Posted under: Health InsuranceHealth Insurance Types

Simply put, student health insurance is a type of health insurance that is designed specifically to meet the health and medical needs of students. It is usually offered as a group benefit and is generally more inexpensive than traditional health insurance coverage availed of by adults and the working-class.

You may think that as a young and healthy person, you wouldn’t need health insurance coverage – you rarely get sick! But students are at higher risk of developing conditions which may be worsened by living in crowded conditions. If you have to travel out-of-state or even out of the country, it would be even more reason for you to get health insurance coverage.

Student health insurance is typically available through three different ways:

Via Parents’ Health Insurance Plan – A majority of students are covered under their family’s health insurance plan, usually through the parents’ employers’ group health cover offered through their occupation. Most of these plans normally cover full-time students until the age of 24, although this may vary from one state to another.

  • Advantages: The monthly or annual billing is handled by the parents. Claims will also work the same way. Also, when applying for health insurance through your parents’ plans, you typically cannot be turned down for medical reasons.
  • Disadvantages: Going to school out of state may decrease your level of coverage, as will dropping credit hours or graduating.

School-Sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan – Many schools now require their students to obtain health and medical coverage prior to enrollment. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2005 has reported that almost 60 percent of colleges offer student health insurance. For public school students, this would mean availing the health coverage for free, but for private school students, this might mean the premiums would be included in the tuition fee. Typically, you only need to be a full-time student in the college to qualify. In the case of big universities affiliated with teaching hospitals, students may have access to a wide variety of health plans, while smaller colleges may send their students for care off-site.

  • Advantages: This might very well be the most affordable option available to students, and you will find that most of your health and medical needs can be serviced on campus.
  • Disadvantages: Any health and medical services rendered off-campus may not be covered and dropping credits may cause you to lose your coverage. School-sponsored student health insurance plans may also have restricted benefits that your other options may be able to provide.

Private Student Health Insurance Plan – This is quite possibly the most comprehensive plan among all other options available for students. You will need to be a full-time student, between the ages of 17 and 29 and attending a certified college or university to qualify. This type of insurance is tailor-made for students and is designed to cover any eventuality.

  • Advantages: This type of plan offers you a broader range of benefits and most of all, your coverage goes with you if you have to travel to a different state to attend university. You will be completely covered whether you are in school, off-campus, or visiting home during holidays.
  • Disadvantages: The major disadvantage to this type of plan is the cost. Unlike other policies, this will be more expensive, and you may be required to pay your premium as a large lump-sum amount. It is also not available in all states so you will need to check the availability where you live.

These options are available to you, and you may make a choice based on what you feel best suits you and your needs and budget. You may be young and healthy, but taking your health for granted may cost you and it is best to be covered for any eventuality now more than ever.


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