With millions of Americans across the country not covered by insurance, it shouldn’t be surprising that students comprise a large number of the uninsured. Yet it is, because finding health insurance for students is one of the easiest things possible.
Many families think that as soon as a student reaches their legal age (18 in most states) or graduate high school that they fall off their parent’s insurance because they are no longer a dependent. In actuality, most insurance companies list the dependent age as at least 21, with 25 in most areas. As long as the student is enrolled at least half-time in school, they are covered under their parent’s health care plan. For recent graduates that are not covered under an employee health care plan, or are not employed there are a few options.
(1) Consider taking a few classes at a local community college to qualify under dependent status. Community colleges offer classes to fit around almost any schedule with night, weekend, and even online courses available.
(2) Contact the school the student attends or plans to attend, and ask for help. Some schools have special deals arranged with private insurance companies to provide coverage for students.
(3) Another option is to talk with the school about getting coverage under their existing employee medical plan. In some cases if the student works at the college, they can qualify for their group health care plan even if they only work part-time.
(4) One of the best things a student can do to find health insurance, is to talk directly with several different companies. Some companies will offer discounted rates to students in a higher learning institution.
(5) Pay special attention to all the informational material that comes prior to the start of the school term, and especially the brochures that arrive before orientation. The schools often include information on finding or attaining health insurance for the students.
(6) As a last resort, look into short-term health insurance. This type covers major illnesses and injuries, as well as accidents but doesn’t help with pre-existing conditions or common problems. The student can keep coverage from 6-12 months, which is especially beneficial if the student plans to travel abroad or to another state, and is often less expensive compare to traditional insurance plans.
The important thing to remember is that most schools, especially 4 year colleges, require students to have health insurance prior to entering college. They expect the student to not only have insurance before starting classes, but to prove their coverage. Usually they will send a booklet and ask for a copy of the ID card, or a number to contact the insurance company. If the student does not have health insurance, than they should offer opportunities to receive coverage.
While many schools have their own health services, they often work with the insurance company. Prior to receiving treatment, the student needs to show their insurance card; only then will medical attention be given.
Though it is a little hard for many students to find health insurance, it is by no means impossible and slightly easier than finding an individual policy. Just remember to talk with the school and ask for their help. They will be happy to give it.