Are you a college student with a limited budget? During the Fall semester, you’ll be very vulnerable to germs.
You still need health insurance to combat them and it can be costly if you don’t have much of an income.
Rather you know it or not, there are actually affordable options out there that are available to you. You just have to know what websites to shop around on, or what your physical sources are.
In this article, we’re going to go over options for health insurance for college students and how to find them so you can stay at ease knowing your health is covered while you’re hitting the books.
1. Know What You Need
The first step to any plan is knowing what you need. In terms of health coverage that means if you have glasses, adding vision coverage onto the list of things that you look for.
Having this list will keep you from buying coverage that you don’t need.
Now, you shouldn’t add things on to that list without giving price a thought. The more you add, the more expensive your options will get.
Keep in mind There are a few things that every plan is supposed to cover under the affordable care act. These are
- Outpatient care
- Inpatient care
- Emergency visits
- Prescription drugs
- Mental health and substance abuse disorders
- Service to help you recover from an injury/chronic condition
- Dental and vision care for children
- Preventative services
- Lab tests
If you don’t need much more than these few things, it’s not worth the extra cost to add them.
2. Shop in Multiple Areas
There are many places where you can shop around for insurance rather it be physical or online. Think of it like buying a piece of furniture, you’re going to look around in several different places to look at deals, colors, and quality.
One option you have is to look for an insurance broker. If you don’t want to do that, you can go straight to the source and visit a bunch of insurer’s sites.
3. Compare Costs
Once you’ve completed the research above, it’s time for you to compare costs. Keep in mind just because a plan is cheap doesn’t mean it’s the best one for you.
You need to look at the cost in correlation to what the plan offers.
Essentially, you want to find the best deal for the money that you’re going to be spending on it. Now that you know how to find the best insurance, we’re going to go over a few of your options.
4. Use Your Parent’s Insurance
For the most part, you can stay on your parent’s insurance until you are 26 years old. Your parents can add you to their insurance if they get their insurance through work by signing you on during the enrollment period, or adding you as a dependent through any other insurance.
You can stay on this insurance even if you get married, start or leave school, have kids, move out of your parent’s house, aren’t claimed as a dependent on their taxes, or turn down a job due to coverage.
5. Student Health Plan
If you’re enrolled in health care through your college, that typically counts having health insurance and so you won’t be penalized for not having it when you’re doing your taxes.
This insurance typically comes out of your tuition and if you no longer want it, you don’t have to keep it. You can always enroll for different insurance or get put on your parent’s insurance while you’re on it and drop it later.
6. Take Advantage of the Healthcare.gov
One of the easiest places to apply for affordable health insurance is healthcare.gov. Just go on and after you create an account you can confirm your email and fill out an application.
It just takes a few minutes and they will show you every plan you qualify for including Medicaid or Medicare.
All of the plans listed on the site aren’t only affordable but they will cover all of your basic needs.
You can apply for both of these through the health insurance marketplace online or through your state Medicaid agency. Both Medicaid and Medicare provide millions of low-income families with insurance so if you aren’t bringing in much income it’s worth it to give it a try.
You may even qualify for something like the Medicare supplement plan G. Even if you can’t get it based off of your income, you should still give it a try.
You could very well qualify for your state’s program.
8. Pick What Meets Your Needs
Through all of this, you have to pick the best plan for you. Even if you get health insurance that doesn’t require you to pay anything, it’s not worth it if it doesn’t cover what you’ll be using it for.
For example, if you have a family doctor that you’re comfortable with and have seen all your life, you don’t want to use insurance that isn’t covered by their clinic.
Health Insurance for College Students: Weigh Your Options
When you’re a college student finances can be hard but you can’t get away with not having health insurance. You can get penalized when you do your taxes. It’s also not safe to be uninsured.
Use these tips for finding health insurance for college students to stay healthy while you’re studying.
Getting affordable health insurance isn’t the only way you can save on your health. Keep reading to see all the ways you save by getting a flu shot.