Student Health Insurance

When you were young, fit and healthy it is difficult to imagine that you will ever need any form of health insurance. However, you should be aware that even a minor injury may place you, or your family, in severe financial hardship. Many students attend college or university and will typically not worry about any health insurance coverage, although the vast majority of four-year degree colleges have made it compulsory. Health insurance is invaluable no matter what age you are, and by ignoring it you may soon be heading for a financial disaster.

There are typically three different routes you can take to ensure that you have adequate student health insurance in place:

Parent's health insurance plan - the vast majority of students will always believe that their parents are more in need of a health insurance policy than they are. However, you may not be aware that most health insurance policies will also provide coverage for the children of the main beneficiaries of the plan. This will typically ensure that a full time student has adequate health insurance coverage from the age of 18 to 24. However, the age brackets tend to vary from state to state.

This is, without doubt, the most convenient form of student health insurance. Any billing enquiries, and of course the payment of premiums, will always be handled by your parents. Should you ever need to make a claim this, once again, will be handled by your parents. Another fantastic advantage is that if you do apply for health insurance via a parent's plan, there is no way you can be declined to medical reasons.

There are also certain disadvantages to having student health insurance via a parent's policy. A prime example of this is if you have to go to school in a different state, you will typically find that your levels of cover will decrease. As soon as you graduate, or if you decide to drop credit hours, your coverage will once again decrease. You will also find that this type of student health insurance is likely to be far more expensive than your other options.

School sponsored student health insurance plan - as mentioned, many colleges have now made it compulsory that a student has a health insurance plan. This will typically need to be in place prior to a student enrolling. If, however, you do enroll, but have no specific cover in place you are likely to be placed onto a school sponsored plan. In order to be eligible you should be a full-time student at the college.

One of the major advantages of this type of student health insurance policy is that the vast majority of medical services are able to be rendered on campus. This is typically the least expensive option available to you and you should liaise with your school's student resource office for further information. Much like any insurance policy, there are also certain disadvantages to a school sponsored plan. The most important of these for you to consider is that you will not be covered for any medical services that are rendered to you off campus. You are also likely to have your benefits restricted, or lose coverage altogether, should you decide to drop credit hours.

Private student health insurance plan - this is, without doubt, the most comprehensive student health insurance plan. This is made specifically for students and will provide coverage for literally every eventuality. As long as you are aged from 17 to 29 and attending a state accredited college or university you will be eligible. There is a huge range of benefits with this type of policy and possibly the most notable is that you are covered even if you attend a school in a different state. This type of policy will also cover you during your journey to and from college whilst visiting home.

The most obvious disadvantage of a private student health insurance plan is that it is likely to be the most expensive of all the options. You may even need to pay your premium as a lump sum, as opposed to smaller monthly premiums. You should also be aware that this type of student health insurance is not available in all states and you can actually be declined based on your medical history.

Student health insurance is something that many young people take for granted, although it is, in most cases, definitely required. When we are young, we do not often consider our health as seriously as we should, although this is definitely one situation where this approach is not recommended. By having an adequate student health insurance plan in place, you should remember that you are protecting your finances as well is your health. By simply having the most basic type of student health insurance in place, you are making the choice between starting your adult life on the right foot or with extreme financial difficulties.

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