You have just graduated high school and the exciting prospect of going off to college is ahead of you. You are young, fearless and invincible. It is no wonder; of all the plans you are making for college that student health insurance is not on the top of your list of things to do. However, sometimes the unexpected happens and if that occurs, you want to be sure you are prepared. For your parents, you might be covered under their employer group insurance so they think you have sufficient protection. However, student health insurance is something that should seriously be considered for many reasons. There are benefits of getting student health insurance so it is important to compare the rates and be sure you are adequately covered.
For students who have no health care coverage at all, it is important to think about. Even if you are in the best of health, you are going away to a new school with all the stressors that that entails. You will likely be living in a dormitory and exposed to many people who might be sick. Student health insurance will help in the event of an emergency or serious illness but it will also help take care of those pesky common illnesses that may prevent you from doing your best in school. You may need a doctor visit or some prescription medication. Student health insurance will help you mitigate the out of pocket expenses for these. If your parents are footing the bill for college, they will be pleased they won't have to pay the exorbitant rates sometimes associated with medical expenses. Parents who have their college bound student covered under their employer's group health insurance may want to look at how cost efficient it is as opposed to using student health insurance. First check the coverage and limits. If you have a network and the student is attending college out of the area, it is possible there are no in network physicians available in the area. This will increase the out of pocket expenses if the student requires medical care.
Also look at eligibility requirements for remaining in the group health care policy. Is there an age limit? Sometimes dependents of employees are ineligible after a certain age that can be as young as eighteen. Does your dependent have to be a full time student to be eligible? If the student drops below a certain number of hours in a semester, the student may be dropped from the insurance plan and this will leave him without coverage. If you do need to shop for student health insurance, keep in mind that it is generally less expensive than other forms of insurance for many reasons. Insurance premiums are assessed by risk. The college student is statistically younger and healthier and requires fewer medical expenses. This means the student is a lower risk which equates to lower premiums. It is also assumed that the student will eventually either graduate or drop out of college. In either instance, the student is no longer eligible for student health insurance. Statistically speaking, the shorter time covered via one plan, the lower the risk.
As with any form of insurance, it is advisable to shop around for rates and compare for the best value. Student health insurance is no different than other insurance in that there may be discounts available for certain situations. It is possible there are discounts available for utilizing on-campus facilities for health care. If the premium amount is a bit much, consider increasing the deductible. This is especially helpful if the student is in very good health. If you have other insurance such as auto or home owners insurance through your agent, see if there is a discount for adding another policy.
Ask your agent what discounts are available and shop around to compare quotes on student health insurance. You may not think student health insurance is a necessary expense but if the unexpected happens, you will be glad you have it.