College students have to consider many things when they start school, with health insurance being one of the most important. This is because while in college, many students may be far from home and taking on life's responsibilities for the first time. Students can look to their parents and on campus resources in order to help them deal with medical costs and coverage.
Relying on Parents
Some students have the benefit of being able to stay on their parents' health care plan while they are attending school. The rules vary with each company, but it often requires that parents' provide proof of the student's enrollment and be in school a minimum number of hours each semester. There may also be an age limit when the coverage ceases to be in effect.
Students should be aware of these guidelines and make sure that they stay within them. There should also be a plan in place in case the student is starting school at an older age or will be in past the age limit. This ensures that the student will have coverage in case it is needed.
Being Without Insurance
Many students go through college without health insurance. This can be due to policy limitations, parents not having insurance or not being able to afford it. Students also go without health insurance because of the jobs that they work while in school. These are often part-time, minimum wage jobs that don't offer any kind of coverage.
Students in this situation often play a game of chance that they will not have any major illnesses or hospitalizations. There are alternatives to going without, depending on where they attend school. These additional resources can save the student money and help to keep them healthy.
Many colleges offer a type of student health insurance plan that is affordable and provides basic coverage. Depending on the type of policy, students may have access to cheaper prescriptions, co-pays for doctor visits and assistance with hospital costs.
College campuses also generally have a student health clinic on campus. The types of services offered depend on the size of the school and available funding. This can include a women's clinic, on staff doctor, pharmacy and reduced price or free testing for various illnesses. Here, students can receive flu shots and get seen for routine illnesses at very affordable prices.
Colleges will often have health fairs on campus as well. These are excellent times for students to learn how to manage their health on a daily basis, get literature and supplies. They can also take advantage of free screenings and other small services. This is another opportunity for students without health insurance to get extra support.
Going through college, staying healthy and have adequate insurance coverage is an important consideration for all students. With the right information and available resources, they can reduce the worry of covering medical costs and taking care of routine health issues that may crop up during school.
Cole Marks has worked in the insurance industry consulting companies on the best loss control management programs for over twenty years.