Saturday, December 5, 2009

College Students and Health Insurance

If you are a young college student, you may think that you really don't need to be worried about health care. But this is false. College students can be most vulnerable if they have a serious accident and no medical coverage.

Here are some tips for college students and health insurance.

If you are on your parent's health insurance policy, you should stay. Most insurance companies allow children who are college students to remain on their parent's health insurance up to age 25. It is much cheaper to remain than get your own. However, if you are going to college outside the state, you should see if you can actually use the insurance in your college town and state. It may be best to have your parent's consult with their insurance company on the best options.

If you cannot stay on your parent's insurance plan, here are more tips.

If you plan on getting a job while in college, find out if your employer offers any type of health insurance. If you are part-time, you may pay more for the coverage, but still cheaper than going it alone.

Of course, you should also check with your college or university. Almost all have some sort of fee they charge as a health fee. This may not be coverage, but may allow you to visit the on-campus health clinic free for minor illnesses. Some even offer more comprehensive health plans. Usually, you will need to be enrolled in a minimum number of units.

If you still cannot get coverage, see if any organization you belong to, like a national fraternity, has available group plans to choose from.

Medicaid. Under certain conditions, you may be eligible for medicaid. You will need to contact the office in the state your college is in to see if you can qualify.

You do have the option of buying (or your parents buying) another health policy just for you. But, this is the most expensive option.

You can also contact state offices to see what types of other group coverages are available. A group coverage is cheaper than solo.

If your college is near a larger city or town, it may have a federally funded clinic or health office. Or, these institutions may offer low-cost coverage of their own.

If prescriptions are a problem, many national chains offer some low cost prescription options.

College students should not go to school without health coverage. This is a very bad idea. If you have a major accident, you will be in debt with medical bills, as well as having to make up missed classes. Insurance can't do anything for the missed classes, but they sure can make those medical bills cheaper.

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