Tips for Student Health Insurance

You chose a college and got accepted. That’s the good news! Now you are faced with a pile of paperwork, and you and your parents are trying to sort through the details and complete all the applications required by your college or university. Whatever you do, do not ignore the form for Student Health Insurance.

If you already have health insurance through your parent or guardian, you will usually be required to certify that you have other coverage. Each year, your parent or guardian will have to re-certify that you are a full-time student so your coverage will continue. Typically, a health insurance plan will cover you until age 23 or 24 if you are in school, but these restrictions do vary, so look at your individual plan for details.

If you have no coverage through your mother or father’s employer, the school will offer you a student health benefit plan. A student policy is less expensive than the coverage you would have to purchase for yourself and it will provide some reassurance for your guardian or parent to know that you will be OK if you have a health problem or emergency while you are away at school. If you complete this form and send it in with the required premium, you will have medical coverage during the school year.

All plans are not created equal, so be sure your parent or guardian checks to see what this policy covers. Don’t just take the policy your school offers without doing your homework. You may be able to find a much better deal on a student policy elsewhere. If the policy your school offers is not appropriate, e.g. you are going to take international courses and that policy will not cover you for international travel, you can explore other student health coverage options.

When you are considering the plan offered by your school, think about these issues:
What is the deductible?
What is the premium?
What are the coverage restrictions for things like sports injuries, international travel, etc.
Can I use any doctor I want to use or am I limited to their doctors?
Do I need referrals or approval to go to a specialist or have a procedure?

Brandie Gonzales

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