Health Insurance for Your College Student
As college begins this fall, you will want to be certain that you know how your college student’s health insurance will work. Here are some tips.
Many schools offer Student Health Services on campus. The level of services that are available will vary by school. Frequently, the fees for using Student Health Services are very low or free. These services are good for many routine needs but will not provide benefits for hospital treatment or other medical care that is not received from Student Health Services.
Your college may offer a student health insurance plan. This would be advantageous if your student does not have insurance or if coverage in the college area would be out-of-network on your policy.
Some schools have minimum benefit standards that your health insurance must meet. If your policy is not adequate, your student will be required to buy the student health insurance plan.
If your student will be participating in NCAA or NAIA sports, you will be asked to provide evidence of health insurance coverage for your student before they will be allowed on the practice field. Your policy must provide benefits everywhere that your student will travel as a part of the team.
If your student plans to study abroad, find out what is being provided by the host school and what you will need to provide for health care coverage. Specialized health policies for international students are available.
The most common situation is that your student will continue to be covered by your family’s health insurance policy. Check your policy for how to find in-network providers in the college area. Then make some calls to locate a primary care doctor and a hospital that your student will use. You will probably want to order an extra insurance card for your student to take with them.
Another option is to purchase an individual policy for your student. It is important to review the benefits carefully and understand whether it offers full or limited benefits. Short term health plans are very popular because of lower premiums. However, the benefits will frequently exclude coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, preventive care, maternity, behavioral health, and intercollegiate sports.