Many students in the US are usually caught off-guard by the high cost of healthcare. Majority don’t even fully appreciate the importance of having a good health insurance plan as they pursue their studies.
This can be explained partly by the fact young adults tend to be generally healthy, and many prefer to entirely skip health insurance.
However, having health insurance is mandatory for college students in the US. Fortunately, as a student, there are several available options when it comes to choosing a cheap medical insurance plan.
Medicaid is a federally and state funded program that provides low-cost (and at times free) health insurance coverage to individuals who are eligible based on their income. It is available through respective state-based exchanges or HealthCare.gov. Medicaid is also available for those college students who qualify depending on the eligibility criteria in your state.
Students under 65 in participating states can also apply for Medicaid if they are earning up to 133% of the national US poverty level. School-Based Plans Most institutions of higher learning in the US such as colleges offer their students an insurance plan.
A school-based health plan can be an affordable way of getting basic health care insurance coverage as the only qualification needed is college enrollment. Universities and colleges develop their own criteria for school-based health plans and that includes whether they cover part-time students. Therefore, ensure you check with the college to be sure.
Parent’s Health Plan If you are under 26 and your parents have Obamacare (ACA), employment-based health insurance, or privately-bought comprehensive insurance, you qualify for health care coverage under your parent’s health plan. This can still cover you even when you are not your parent’s tax dependent, living alone, or married. If your parent has an employment-based health insurance plan and their employer subsidizes family insurance premiums, your own insurance premiums get paid in part by that employer.
The rest of your premium will be deducted out of your parent’s monthly paycheck or from your parent’s pocket.
Catastrophic Health Insurance
If under 30 or if eligible for a hardship exemption you may consider buying catastrophic health insurance also known as high-deductible health policy. Such health care plans tend to generally have higher deductibles and lower monthly premiums. This makes them attractive as they are potentially cheaper for college students. When insured through a catastrophic health plan, you typically will pay for all your medical expenses until you reach your deductible amount. It’s therefore important for you to bear mind that if you have enrolled with a catastrophic health insurance plan and incur some medical bills you could find yourself in a hard place before your high deductible health plan kicks in.
Having the right type of health insurance when in school or college is important. It helps in covering the costs of medical care and emergencies that may arise during your time in college. Ultimately, the decision you make about health insurance comes down to the cost. This must, however, be balanced with reliable healthcare benefits.