Is Health Insurance Required For College Students
Federal law, through the Affordable Care Act, mandates that all adults have health insurance coverage, and this includes health insurance for college students. While there are no criminal charges attached to failing to be insured, there are tax consequences.
Furthermore, some states have made it mandatory for students to have health insurance before entering college, and individual colleges and universities may require medical insurance for students as a matter of policy.
College Health Insurance Requirements
Below is a list of specific requirements that a studentâs health insurance may have to meet :
- Coverage has no limitations, waiting periods, or exclusions on pre-existing conditions
- Coverage has network doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other healthcare providers in the studentâs Penn State campus area or where the student resides while attending Penn State.
- Coverage for emergencies and non-emergency services like diagnostic X-ray and lab, physical therapy, urgent care visits, ambulance services, preventative vaccine, and prescription drug coverage
- Coverage for inpatient and outpatient hospitalization
- Coverage for inpatient and outpatient counseling and mental health services
- Coverage for recreational activities
- Coverage for maternity care
Your college should have these requirements easy to find on a health service or student affairs-related website. Make sure to check with your insurance provider to ensure you wonât have to pay for an additional university plan on top of your own.
Faq: Coverage For Recent College Grads
Graduating from college is an exciting time, so people may not necessarily be considering what they will do about their health insurance coverage during this stage of their life. However, it is still important for recent grads to make sure they have coverage in case the unexpected happens. This section answers some questions that people may have about getting health insurance after graduation.
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There Is Often Only One Plan To Choose From
Students are a captive audience, and its the rare campus that offers more than one student health insurance plan. Basically, you can pay for it , or you can pack up your textbooks and go to school somewhere else.
When students are applying and deciding where to go to college, few factor in what it will cost to have the health coverage the school wants them to have. And yet, its a big-ticket item that raises the cost of going to college by thousands of dollars.
Even if you have a great family plan at home, it may not be enough.
Our familys employer-provided health plan was excellent, but the university which was promoting its student health insurance plan warned us that the health center on campus did not participate in any insurance networks other than the universitys own plan, wrote health writer Roni Caryn Rabin in The New York Times, describing the unnamed university her daughter was attending. Rabin said her child got a waiver anyway.
Student Health Insurance Provided Through Your College Or University
Many colleges and universities offer their own health insurance plans to students. Premiums can often be lumped with your other expenses such as tuition and room and board. This means your student loans can be used to cover the cost. Make sure you examine any plans offered by your school carefully. They may have significantly limited coverage compared to a plan you might find in the Marketplace.
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When Colleges Do Not Require Insurance
In states with single provider health insurance through the Marketplace, most colleges and universities do not require health insurance for their students putting them at risk of harm.
Other colleges only require proof of health insurance if you are a full-time student. The policy allows for part-time students to attend without requiring health coverage of any kind.
According to the GAO, thirty percent of colleges and universities require their full-time students to have insurance while attending their institution. However, every fall has seen an upscale on how many higher learning establishments require insurance coverage and who would require it.
Differences In Higher Learning And Health Insurance
Nearly 20 percent of college students remain uninsured because not all colleges or universities mandate that students have a health insurance policy.
Most students arrive at college insured by another person, whether a parent or other guardian. It is not until post-graduate programs before they are required to get their own insurance.
The Government Accounting Office, also known as GAO, has reported that minorities are far more likely to arrive at college without insurance. Because not all learning institutions require health insurance, they attend college while remaining uninsured and at-risk.
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A Marketplace Catastrophic Health Insurance Plan
Thereâs an alternative type of health insurance available on your stateâs marketplace. Itâs only available to those under the age of 30 or those with low incomes. Itâs called catastrophic health insurance. These plans come with low monthly premiums and very high deductibles â as high as $7,900 for 2019.
This means itâs only going to kick in if you have a really terrible accident or illness. While that might stop you from going completely bankrupt, $7,900 is still a lot of money to pay before coverage kicks in. Catastrophic plans do cover three primary care visits per year by law, but any visits beyond that or to a specialist will not be covered until you hit the deductible.
Whatâs the benefit? Catastrophic health insurance plans are much, much cheaper than traditional health insurance plans.
But because of the high deductibles, you may want to explore other options before buying a catastrophic health insurance plan. If you can use loans to pay for a traditional health insurance plan or your parents are willing to help pay for it, a plan with a lower deductible might be better in case of an emergency.
What Are Health Insurance Options For Ohio Students
Here are some types of student health insurance in Ohio:
- Through your university or college: Many schools offer affordable plans to their students, either their own or through insurance companies.
- Your parents insurance plan: By law, you can stay on your parents plan until youre 26.
- Health Insurance Marketplace plans: Plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act can be purchased through the federal Marketplace.
- Through Medicaid or the Childrens Health Insurance Program : No- or low-cost health coverage is available through the Ohio Department of Medicaid, depending on your age and income.
- Catastrophic health plans: You can buy a lower-premium, high-deductible plan to cover serious accidents or illnesses if youre under 30.
- Short-term health plans: You can get one 364-day, nonrenewable plan that doesnt meet ACA requirements.
- Job-based health plans:If you have a job, your employer may offer health insurance.
Many universities and colleges have student healthcare plans, either their own or through insurance companies.
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Student Health Insurance From The Expert
Hector De La Torre is the Executive Director of the Transamerica Center for Health Studies, a nonprofit focused on helping consumers and businesses navigate the health care landscape. De La Torre was chosen to lead this new initiative because of his private and public sector experience, particularly his leadership role on health care and advocating for consumers and businesses. Among his accomplishments as an elected official were expanding access to doctors in underserved communities, consumer protections against retroactive cancellation of health insurance, and supporting facilities improvements at Childrens Hospitals.
What Are The Most Important Things That Students Should Keep In Mind When Getting Insurance
They should keep in mind that they are required to have coverage, have many options for obtaining coverage, and should use any the free services offered to them.
If buying a plan, think about your monthly premium and your out-of-pocket expenses. Your premium is the amount you pay for insurance every month and your out-of-pocket is the amount you have to pay when you go to see your doctor, caregiver, or go to the hospital. Often the higher the premium, the lower the out-of-pocket costs you have and vice versa. Think about how often you use care or the cost of prescription drugs you will be taking and pick a plan that covers your needs.
When using care, check if the provider you are seeing accepts your insurance. There is a price difference between in-network and out-of -network health care providers. If the doctor, hospital, or health care facility you visit is part of your insurance companys network, you will get your health care at lower prices.
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Why Texas Students Need Health Insurance
Many college students are young and healthy, but illness and accidents can happen to anyone. If they do, these unexpected medical expenses could even prevent a student from completing their degree. Thats why some Texas colleges and universities require and all recommend that every student has a policy that includes coverage for emergency services, hospitalization, outpatient care, prescription medications, preventive care and mental health services.
Not only will this comprehensive coverage ensure a student will be treated for more serious health issues that cant be handled at the campus health center, but it also helps to avoid crushing medical debt.
Nearly all Texas schools provide campus-based services for minor health issues like flu, sprains and infections. Most dont charge a fee for basic services as long as the student has the schools SHIP or pays a health-services fee. This fee is often included as part of the bill for tuition, room and board and other fees for the semester or school year, so you might not even notice it unless you take a close look at your bill.
Coming From Out of State?
Are you coming to school in Texas from another state? Be sure your current plan will cover you and that you can access any medical providers you might need.
How We Chose The Best Health Insurance For College Students
To identify the best health insurance for college students, we looked at multiple options, including Medicaid, Health Insurance Marketplace plans, school-offered insurance, short-term policies, and insurance offered by private companies. In total, we looked at 17 different options and evaluated them based on their total annual cost, availability, provider network, and financial stability rating. Because college students are typically on a tight budget, particular attention was paid to plans that offered low premiums and comprehensive coverage.
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Covered California Coverage For Students
Students can opt out of their student health plans and purchase coverage through Covered California. Depending on income, students may receive tax credits to help pay for a private health plan through Covered California or receive low- or no-cost coverage through Medi-Cal.
If, however, students accept and enroll in the schools health insurance plan, they will not be eligible for tax credits through Covered California while they are covered by their schools plan. When students are considering whether to enroll in their schools health insurance plan or a Covered California health plan, they should consider the location of clinics/doctors and the costs of accessing services.
How Do You Get Covered Under Your School Plan In Ohio
Many schools offer student health insurance plans to undergraduate students enrolled for a minimum number of credit hours. Plans may be funded directly by the school or through a contract with an insurance company. Costs and coverage will vary by school. Sometimes costs are added to other school fees so you can use your financial aid to pay them. Your schools admissions office will have more details.9
Case Western Reserve University requires health insurance of students registered for one credit hour or more. Its University Health Service provides primary care on campus. Case Western has contracted with Aetna Student Health to supplement UHS services for $2,734 per year. The premium will be billed each semester automatically unless you meet the schools waiver requirement.10
Kenyon Colleges Health Service provides its students with primary care services at no charge. As a supplement, full-time students are automatically enrolled in its Student Health Benefits Plan unless they provide acceptable proof of insurance. The plan is ACA-compliant and facilitated by Wellfleet. The annual premium is $2,800.11
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Do College Students Need Health Insurance
The simple answer is yes, college students need health insurance. Students who are uninsured face tax penalties, but that’s not the only reason you should have coverage.
Even very young, healthy people need to be able to get treatment at a reasonable cost in the event of an accident, sports injury, or bout of the flu or mononucleosis.
The average family pays in the neighborhood of $3,000 per year in healthcare costs with a good health plan in place. Without coverage, one serious illness or injury can leave a student facing bills of $10,000 or more.
Unexpected medical bills can add more debt to student loans. The only thing those with a student health insurance plan need to worry about after an illness is making up missed homework.
How To Get Covered Under Your Parents Plan In Texas
The ACA requires insurance plans to offer dependent coverage for children up to age 26. And if your parents claim you as a dependent and you live and attend college in Texas, they can obtain coverage for you on their private health insurance plan if it offers dependent coverage.
If you go to college in Texas and your parents live in a different state, your coverage on their plan should apply to Texas providers as long as the policy is network-based and there are Texas providers in the plans network.
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Can Someone Claim You As A Dependent
If your parent, a guardian or someone else can claim you as a dependent on their income tax return, its likely you can remain on that persons health insurance plan, if they have one, until youre 26. If your parents are applying for an ACA Marketplace plan during the Open Enrollment Period, they can include you, too.
If youre leaving your home state to attend college in Texas, you can apply for an ACA health insurance plan in Texas on your own and still remain a dependent for tax purposes, although your parents income will be considered on the Marketplace application if you are a dependent.
What Are Other Options For Coverage In Washington
Catastrophic health insurance plans have low premiums but high deductibles. People under the age of 30 are eligible to apply for a catastrophic plan. These plans provide the same essential health benefits and some preventive services as regular Marketplace plans.
Short-term health insurance plans are more affordable than traditional plans because theyre not required to cover preexisting conditions or essential health benefits. as defined by the Affordable Care Act.
In Washington, you can buy a short-term plan up to three months in any 12-month period. A short-term plan might be a good choice if you need something temporary while you look for a more permanent solution.
There are a variety of travel health insurance plans that may provide coverage for students while studying abroad, either fully or as gap coverage for benefits not covered by your existing health insurance plan. Some academic plans offered by Washington colleges may provide limited coverage for students studying abroad.
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Can College Students Get Free Health Insurance
Most of the time, health insurance will be free because its paid for with a scholarship or grant or because parents provide the coverage. Some college students may be able to obtain coverage at no cost to them by getting it through Medicaid or qualifying for subsidies that equal the cost of the monthly premiums of a policy purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Skipping Health Insurance Altogether
Currently, under the Affordable Care Act , you could be subject to a penalty for not having health insurance. However, as a full-time student you may not be earning enough income to file taxes and you may not trigger these penalties. That doesnt necessarily make it a great idea to just go without it. You have to weigh the benefits of having a health insurance plan, such as the security it provides in cases of unexpected medical expenses, with the cost of coverage. There are many affordable options available to students so it is best to be informed about all your choices before you make a decision about skipping coverage. To learn more about the ACA and how it may impact your choices, visit our page.
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What Are The Health Insurance Rules For Students In Texas
Texas law states that public higher education institutions with medical, dental, nursing and public health schools may require students to be covered by health plans. This primarily affects graduate students, although some undergraduate programs, such as those at Texas A& Ms School of Nursing, require student health insurance.
The requirement is based on these students exposure to health risks while delivering patient care during their clinical experiences. Other Texas A& M undergraduates arent required to be insured but the school does offer its own SHIP and will submit student health center charges to private insurance. It wont, however, submit charges to Medicaid or a Childrens Health Insurance Plan .
Coverage For Recent Grads Or Special
Traditional undergraduates often have an easier time acquiring health insurance than their peers in less conventional circumstances. Depending on individual plan provisions, students who live off campus, attend classes part time, or are older than 25 may not qualify for the student healthcare plans discussed above. Fortunately, these students have other options.
The demands of work and family prohibit many students from pursuing a degree on a full-time basis. Fortunately, the educational system has made great strides to offer alternative means of learning to adult learners through distance education, evening and weekend classes, and extended programs designed for part-time students.
If you are a degree-seeking student taking a minimum of six credits, most schools will offer student health insurance to you. Depending on the school, you can meet this requirement in any learning format â sometimes even online.
Check with your prospective schools to find out their particular policies. Students who don’t take at least six credits per semester may fall back on insurance plans offered independent of their school, whether by purchasing an individual plan or by using a family plan for as long as they can.
Students on family plans who complete a degree in their early 20s have more time to find alternative coverage. However, after turning 26, individuals need to find something else.
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