Student Medical Insurance
When your student goes off to school, you need to make sure they have good medical coverage. There are three places to check for student medical insurance.
Existing Medical Coverage
If you have medical coverage, your student probably has coverage under your policy. If that’s the case, he’ll probably be eligible to remain on that policy until he ceases to be a full time student or hits the age of 25 (the age varies by insurance company).
If your child goes away to school and you have an HMO or a PPO, check and see that there are in network doctors where the school is located. Otherwise, you could pay more out of pocket expenses then you’d like.
School Health Insurance
The main purpose of student health insurance at schools is to keep students in school so they can complete their studies. Most plans are centered around the school’s Student Health center.
It can be less expensive for a student to get health insurance at the school for the following reasons:
- Discounts are provided for on campus care
- Students don’t stay enrolled in the health plan for long thereby reducing the chances they will incur a lot of health care expenses
- College students are younger and healthier than the general population. This means a reduced health risk which is reflected in the insurance rates.
These policies can be an affordable alternative to more traditional plans so they’re worth a look.
Traditional Student Medical Insurance
Student medical insurance is similar to short term insurance. Following are some basics:
- Illnesses or injuries that exist at the time the policy becomes effective are not covered
- Maximum policy limits are usually one to two million dollars lifetime and $100,000 per illness/injury
- Deductibles are calendar year and range from $250 to $2500
- Most policies have coinsurance. Coinsurance is the percentage of covered medical expenses you pay after the deductible is met (It might be stated that you have to pay 20 percent of the next $10,000 worth of charges and the insurance company pays 80 percent)
- Inpatient prescriptions, office visits, intensive care treatment, inpatient and outpatient surgery, lab and x-ray, semi-private hospital room and board will be covered subject to deductibles and coinsurance
In addition to pre-existing conditions, the following are not covered under most student medical insurance policies:
- Maternity care
- Outpatient prescription drugs
- Dependent coverage
- Mental illness
- Substance abuse
- Dental and vision
- Routine physical exams
- Intercollegiate sports injuries
- Cosmetic treatment or surgery
- Hearing aid or eyeglass charges
- Charges for weight control or obesity treatment or surgery
- Psychiatric care
- Wellness benefits
- Any charges incurred outside the United States
- And more…
Both of these inclusions and exclusions are not complete and may vary by state. Your policy contract will include a complete list of what’s covered and what’s not covered.
Review your student’s medical options carefully within the bounds of your coverage, available school coverage and traditional medical coverage to make sure your student is adequately protected.
Steve Wyrostek -MedicalInsurance.org Expert
A 20 year plus veteran of the insurance industry, Steve managed departments in the personal and commercial lines areas of major insurers. He’s familiar with how insurance—ranging from boat to workers compensation—works.