Starting college for the first time or returning to college for another year is exciting for parents and students alike. New roommates, new classes and new activities are part of the pace of the college experience.
In the fall of 2014, 21 million college students walked across an American college or university campus to begin their fall studies. That’s millions of students who might have all of their financial aid in order to pay for college, but do they have enough left over to pay for health insurance?
College students have several options when it comes to health insurance coverage. They can stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until they are 26 years old – but that isn’t always economically feasible for mom and dad. Some colleges offer health insurance plans for their students, but doctor networks can be limited. Then there is short term health insurance, an affordable option for a student who is paying for their own healthcare or getting a little help from their parents.
In most cases, college students can get health insurance for 30 days as a temporary solution, or apply for coverage for the entire year of school for around $80 a month. Pricing varies by state and smaller deductible amounts can make pricing higher, but in either case, short term medical insurance can provide some mental security knowing that should a major illness or accident during the school year occur, there is some financial protection in place to help pay for medical bills that arise.
Benefits of short term health insurance:
• Coverage can start as fast as 24-hour from application acceptance and payment receipt.
• No networks – students have the freedom to see any doctor they choose.
• Multiple deductible options, so students who need a richer plan to help pay for doctor office visits have coverage they need
• It’s affordable. Short term health insurance costs about one-third the price of individual health insurance.
While short term health insurance is a great option for students, it isn’t for everyone. There are some required medical questions on the application that could disqualify an applicant from obtaining coverage due to a pre-existing condition. In those cases, it might be best for a student to look into individual health insurance to see if they might qualify for a tax subsidy to lower the overall expense of their health plan costs.
Short term medical insurance is also not considered a qualifying Obamacare plan, which means an individual has to pay a tax penalty for not carrying a health insurance plan with benefits that are mandated by the federal government. However, in many instances, the cost of a short term health insurance plan and the fine of the tax penalty can still be less money than an Obamacare plan overall. It pays to do the math in advance.
Part time, full-time, undergrad or graduate school, commuter student or dorm-room dweller, short term medical plans fit a range of college students who need health insurance coverage while gaining a higher education.