¶ May be ideal coverage in conjuction with the services of the student medical center.
• Compare with the plan offered by the school. Non-school plans like this may be more cost effective.
• Easier to qualify for than many individual health insurance plans.
• Better coverage than typical 'guaranteed issue' plans.
• Preferred by students who do not qualify for regular individual health insurance, and do not want to pay the higher cost of the school's coverage.
If the student has no history of medical problems, the most economical way, with the greatest number of choices, is a regular individual health insurance plan.
Most colleges and universities have a health insurance plan available that will accept all students who apply. There are no health questions whose answers are used to qualify for acceptance. That is convenient, but it increases the cost that all students must pay.
Students with expensive health problems are more likely to take the plan, whereas student who are in good health and likely to cost the plan nothing can look elsewhere for lower cost coverage.
Usually, it is mandatory for the student to have health insurance as a condition of enrollment as a full time student. If the student does not want the school's insurance, proof of other coverage must be supplied.
Non-school plans designed for students represent a sort of middle ground for many students who have a medical history that results in a decline for individual plans.
For the most part, such plans have fewer health questions than most individual plans, so more students are likely to be accepted. For any student whose medical history makes them unable to buy other individual health insurance, a student-targeted plan may allow them to get covered.
Many college or university plans offer "bare bones" benefits that may not be enough to give financial security against large, unexpected expenses. For a student wanting reliable coverage, non-school plans may be better in scope, continuity, and price than what the school provides.
In a non-school plan, look for the freedom to choose your own doctors and hospitals anywhere in the United States and Canada. If so, there is no need to be concerned with being out-of-network and there is no need for referrals. Once you have such insurance as a student, you can keep it for as long as you want, whether or not you take a semester off, or stop being a student altogether.
Getting and keeping a student plan can be fairly flexible, e.g., applicants accepted up to 29 years of age and the policy can then be kept up to age 63. By comparison, most school plans cover the student only up until graduation or shortly thereafter. To qualify initially, expect a requirement of either nine credit hours as an undergraduate or being a full-time graduate student as defined by the school and having that status for at least 31 days.
The premiums of student plans are usually based on the deductible you choose, and your age. Expect the premium to be paid either annually or semi-annually, by check or credit card, rather than monthly. Expect a one-time $20 application fee. You can likely have coverage begin as soon as the day after an application is made online or the clear postmark date of a printed application, or as requested.
Since there is usually a student health center that may provide minor medical care, a student health plan may work well in combination even if it does not have doctor visit copays so as to keep premiums as low as possible.
Typical plans: A choice of deductibles of $250, $500, $1000, or $2500. If covered expenses are incurred, after you have paid the deductible, the plan pays 80% of the next $10,000 in covered expenses, then 100% of remaining covered expenses up to $100,000 for each illness or injury, up to a lifetime maximum of $1,000,000.
Office visits (after deductible is met) are included, but the plan does not cover prescription drugs, maternity, intercollegiate sports injuries, or mental illness or substance abuse. The brochure and policy and certificate have a more complete list of exclusions.
In most states, pre-existing conditions are not covered for the first twelve months unless there was prior coverage in the last 90 days. If so, a month of credit reducing the 12 month period is given for each month of prior continuous coverage.
If you are not 100% satisfied, you may return the contract and identification cards within 10 days of delivery for a full premium refund. Any application fee is not refundable. It is up to you to read the policy and ask about anything you do not understand.
¶ Notice: The description above was not provided by any insurance company. It was written as an introduction to what companies may provide and is not a part of any insurance contract and does not in any way determine any benefits. Only an insurance company's materials define what benefits you may receive from their plan.