- You may ask, “Can we get health insurance for college students?” The answer is, “Yes” and we will be explaining about that in detail in this blog post. There are soon going to be laws that will bring mandatory health insurance for college students. But, the reasons why college students should go for health insurance are many and include vulnerability to illnesses, accidents, etc.
- Even if you are looking for free health insurance for college students, all you need to do is read on.
- In this post, we will be covering everything that you should know about health insurance for college students. So, let’s start.
Why is there a need for health insurance coverage for college students?
- You must be aware of the Affordable Care Act. It allows children to be covered under their parents’ insurance coverage – either employer-sponsored or privately purchased. They have the right to be covered under their parents’ health insurance coverage till the age of 26. However, in the US, the number of uninsured young adults is still high. Let us look at some important statistics that will help you understand the need for health insurance for college students. Here are the statistics:
1) As per CDC or Centers for Disease Control, young people between 15-19 accounted for 11% of motor vehicle-related injuries’ costs (2015).
2) WHO says 15% of young people between the ages of 12 to 19 have chronic diseases.
3) According to NIMH or The National Institute of Mental Health, the prevalence of mental illnesses in people in the age group 18-25 is around 22.1%. Therefore, there is an increasing need for getting health insurance for college students.
- These uninsured people will face a greater financial risk if they meet with any untoward incident health-wise. Why? That’s because the cost that they will have to bear will be very high as medical care is expensive. This could lead to high medical debts that could jeopardize the future of college students. That is why health insurance for college students is extremely important.
Options for Free Health Insurance for College Students & Mandatory Health Insurance for College Students
Let us now look at the coverage options for health insurance for College Students. Here they are:
1) Parent Health Insurance Plans –
- This is one of the best ways to get health insurance for college students. As we have already mentioned above, the Affordable Care Act allows children till the age of 26 to be covered under their parents’ insurance coverage – either employer-sponsored or privately purchased. The children may be married or financially independent or living away but still, will get insurance. It offers better coverage and no cost on the part of the college student. But, job loss of parents may lead to loss of health insurance coverage. For college students living out of state, the plan may not offer adequate coverage.
2) Student Health Insurance Plans Sponsored by the school –
- This is one of the best ways to get health insurance for college students. The school pays the claims directly under Student Health Insurance Plans (SHIP). Therefore, the school will provide help to pay for health insurance coverage for college students. The best thing is that the campus itself provides medical services. However, you cannot avail of Government Tax credits if you are insured under SHIP. Also, you will have to be a full-time student to avail of the plan.
3) Individual Health Insurance Coverage via the ACA marketplace –
- What will you do if you are not insured under your parents’ insurance coverage. One of the best ways to acquire health insurance for college students is by purchasing an individual health insurance plan via the ACA marketplace. You can choose a plan within your budget and your plan is independent of your student status (full-time or part-time). However, you have to incur higher costs than the previous plans. You can sign up on the federal government site, or HealthCare.gov to avail of this plan.
4) COBRA –
- What about health insurance for college students who have already graduated? You can opt for COBRA or Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act. Under the act, you can get an extended coverage of 36 months after completion of your 26th year. However, one disadvantage is that premiums can be costly. But, if you want to apply for this plan, you will need to let your parents’ insurance companies know about the expansion.
This is everything that you need to know about health insurance for college students. If you are still uninsured, you can utilize free clinics and charity medical care services. After all, being insured is very important to live a long and healthy life.