As a student preparing to head off to college, you undoubtedly have a lot on your mind — so it’s no surprise that something like student health insurance might easily get pushed to the back burner.
However, protecting your health and well-being is a vital part of being a student. After all, a compromised state of health can quickly turn into a downward slide for your studies.
So where should you begin with an extensive topic like health insurance? It always helps to first learn how health insurance might benefit you — even if you’re a generally healthy person — as well as become familiar with the different types of insurance options available to you. Whether this is your first time dealing with health insurance, or you’ve arranged for it in the past, these tips can help you choose a health insurance plan that’s right for you.
Why student health insurance is important
Many students associate health insurance with serious illnesses or injuries. And, given that college students are often young, energetic, and healthy individuals, it’s easy to see why a college student might assume that he or she can get by without health insurance.
But health insurance can benefit much more than serious illnesses and mishaps. It can provide coverage for everything from basic medical attention and check-ups, to more serious health conditions – and everything in between. And because medical services — even the minor ones — can add up, having student health insurance can save you money (not to mention a lot of worry).
Types of health insurance for students
Of course, there are various options to choose from when it comes to protecting student health – and it’s important to review all of them to ensure you end up with the coverage you need.
Your parents: perhaps you’re currently covered under your parents’ health insurance policy. If this is the case, ask your parents about their thoughts on your student health insurance. They may need to contact their insurance provider as well, to determine if they can keep you on their policy, or if it makes more sense to sign you up for your own health insurance plan.
Your college: many universities offer — or even require — university-associated health insurance for each of their students. Others might only require it if you don’t already have another plan in place. The fee for university insurance plans tends to be very affordable, and should be outlined in your college acceptance package or through the college’s web page for new student.
Your employer: some companies offer their employees group health insurance — so if you’re currently employed, it might be worth asking if this applies to you. If you are able to get coverage through your employer, take the time to familiarize yourself with the policy’s terms, to ensure you’re covered where you need it most.
The government: some students might qualify for government-sponsored insurance options, such as Medicaid. This option offers low-cost or free medical care, but comes with certain limitations in terms of doctors and health care professionals you can see.
Private coverage: this option usually offers a lot of flexibility, as well as many different policies and plans to choose from — so you can cater to any specific cover requirements more easily.
With all the possibilities for student health insurance — in terms of both coverage and cost — you have every reason to access a plan that fits your health-related needs.
Are you a parent with questions about health insurance for your student? Refer to our parent’s guide on student insurance cover.