Student insurance is a very important aspect for all college students. This is because the life of a college student can get very messy in many ways. Students begin experiencing life away from their parents where they have to pay for their own books, food, and bills. Aside from these expenses, they also experience cases of accidents and illnesses that affect them emotionally and financially. Student insurance is getting more popular each year as several college students begin to understand the need for it.
What is student insurance?
Student insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers students while they are still in school and protects them against loss due to accidents, disease, and other hazards before they have the opportunity to earn their own money.
The cost of student insurance is relatively low, which makes it an attractive option for many students. Student insurance also does not usually require that the applicant prove insurability as part of the application process. This can make student insurance an attractive option for young adults who do not currently have any other types of health coverage.
Student Health Insurance policies are offered by private companies and administered by student associations or colleges. The plans cover a variety of medical services, including doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospitalization. Most student health plans also provide coverage for vision care and well-baby care for children of students who are covered under the plan.
Students are generally required to pay for the insurance themselves. In some cases, students can get financial help through their parents’ health insurance plans or through government programs such as Medicaid or Medicare. Some schools offer scholarships to defray the cost of purchasing student health insurance.
Types of student insurance
State laws typically require colleges and universities to supply certain types of insurance. So, unless you’re a graduate student or an international student, you’ll probably be covered under the school’s plan.
1. TUITION REIMBURSEMENT INSURANCE:
If your tuition is paid by scholarship or you pay it yourself, this is the coverage you need. It will reimburse you for all tuition costs in the event of a disaster. This insurance also covers any fees, books, and living expenses associated with classes if your school is closed.
2. FAMILY TUITION REIMBURSEMENT INSURANCE:
Covers your family members’ tuition in case of a disaster at school.
3. LOST WAGES INSURANCE:
Pays for the time that students might lose from work because of a school closure.
4. SUMMER SCHOOL INSURANCE:
Covers the cost of summer courses if your regular schedule is interrupted by a disaster during the school year.
5. CHILD CARE INSURANCE:
If day care centers must close because of a disaster, this pays up to $4,000 per child for alternative child care or for care for each of your children whose schools are closed.
6. GRADUATION INSURANCE:
Reimburses you for the cost of graduation ceremonies if they are canceled because of a disaster.
How do I choose a student insurance plan?
Student insurance is not a part of the federal student loan program, so it’s something you have to purchase on your own. Student health insurance plans are available either through your college or directly from the company. Some colleges require incoming students to take out health insurance, while others provide the option, so check with your school’s financial office to determine what applies to you.
The cost of student health insurance depends on multiple factors, such as your age and whether you’re a full-time student or not. Premiums also vary depending on whether you’re choosing a plan that provides coverage for basic medical needs or one that offers more comprehensive care.
To find student health plans and estimate costs, consider visiting websites such as eHealthInsurance.com and AccuQuote.com. If your school doesn’t offer student health insurance, or if you want to compare options from different companies, these websites can help you compare rates and features and make an informed decision about which plan is best for you.
How do I apply for student insurance?
Student insurance is a high priority for all students, especially those in the first year, who are more likely to be involved in accidents. In the current economic climate, there is no reason why a student should feel unable to afford insurance coverage. It is essential for all students to take out comprehensive travel insurance and make sure that they have adequate cover for any mishaps that may occur during their time at university.
One of the most important things to remember about student insurance is that it cannot be bought from your local high street. The only way to get it is via the internet or by phoning up an insurance provider. Most providers have young people’s executive advisors to help you make sure you get a good deal for your budget. You can also ask your universities careers department if they have any recommended insurers with whom they work closely.
In order to find the right policy, there are certain factors that need to be considered. The most important factor is what you want the policy for. If you want just a single trip cover, then obviously this will be much cheaper than if you want a yearly multi-trip cover. It is also worth checking if the insurer will replace stolen goods or if they will pay out a cash sum if your possessions are damaged or lost completely.
What are the tax benefits of the different types of plans?
The cost of your student health plan depends on your school and your coverage, but there’s a lot more to it than just how you pay. The tax advantages — or lack thereof — can play a huge role in deciding what type of plan is best for you.
The first step is to ask yourself whether you need health insurance at all. If you’re young, healthy and don’t have dependents, you might not need it, particularly if you’re on your parents’ plan. You’ll still get hit with a penalty for not having coverage in 2014 if the only reason you don’t have insurance is because you can get it through someone else’s plan. But that penalty will be $95 per adult or 1 percent of family income in 2014 and will go up after that.
If you do decide to get insurance, one thing to consider is whether that insurance should be provided by your school or by a private provider. Schools are required to provide students with health insurance as part of their financial aid packages. That might be worth taking even if the price isn’t right — particularly if you have dependents or if the school’s plan has better benefits than any other plan available to you.
Are there limits to the extent of coverage provided by my health plan?
Students should keep receipts for all medical claims and should not submit any claims until they have paid their portion of the bill or incurred out-of-pocket expenses exceeding $500. Students will receive reimbursement from Student Insurance according to a schedule based on charges as listed in the Health Service’s fee schedule. Each student must secure health insurance coverage through his/her own means prior to registration each semester.
The University provides this coverage as a service to students and has no legal liability arising out of it. The University reserves the right to cancel student health insurance coverage if the University becomes aware of false statements pertaining to eligibility for coverage or status that may affect costs and/or benefits otherwise payable under this policy.
Is my plan portable, transferable, and fully refundable?
Is your student insurance portable, transferable, and fully refundable? It sounds like a simple question, but it’s one that many parents are asking more frequently. It comes as no surprise that college students often have the highest risk of injury or illness among all age groups.
Trying to figure out which plan is best for your student’s needs can be confusing. There are so many choices available, each with unique features and benefits. But there are some very important questions you should ask yourself before you make a final decision on your plan.
How do I make changes to my health plan coverage?
When you have questions, concerns, or problems with your student health insurance plan, don’t hesitate to reach out to your school’s health services provider. Be sure to make your concerns known in a timely manner so that you can resolve any issues quickly.
Appeal a Claim Denial
If you’re denied coverage for a medical service you believe should be covered by your student health insurance plan, there are ways to address the issue. You can request an appeal or file a complaint if you feel the claim denial was unreasonable or discriminatory.
Contacting Your Student Health Services Provider
You’ll need to contact your student health services provider directly if you want to appeal a claim denial or file a complaint about your insurance plan. Contact information is typically included on the back of each card in the mailing packet you received when you signed up for coverage. If this information isn’t available, contact the Student Health Center at your college and ask for help getting in touch with the right person in charge of reviewing claims and making determinations about services covered by your student health insurance plan.
Keep Records of All Medical Expenses
Even if you aren’t able to get reimbursed for certain medical expenses under your current insurance plan, it’s important that you keep track of all out-of-pocket expenses.
Can I cancel my plan before I graduate from college or leave school/education altogether?
If you are no longer a full-time student or attend school less than half-time, you may be able to cancel your plan and avoid the extra premium.
Once you drop below full-time status and/or graduate, you have 10 days to submit the forms to cancel your student plan.
To qualify for the exemption, you must:
- drop below half-time status;
- and be enrolled in a non-school based program during the current plan year;
- and graduate during the current plan year;
- or leave school during the current plan year;
- and not be married (unless divorced or widowed);
- and not have any dependents (other than yourself).
What happens if my college or university offers a group policy that covers me and other students?
Group policies for colleges and universities are the most common, but some schools offer individual policies, too. Most of these policies cover the student only, not any family members. The price is often much lower than a typical policy offered by a private company, so this approach might be more appealing to low-income families.
However, keep in mind that if you’re going to be out of school for several years after graduation, you may want to consider other options. The school’s policy may not cover you once you’re no longer a student. In addition, some college policies have specific limitations on coverage and benefits. Read your policy carefully before making any claims. In particular, ask whether your school’s policy covers off-campus activities like frat parties or weekend getaways with friends.
Am I allowed to opt-out and purchase alternative coverage, such as Medigap or a comparable private policy on the open market?
Yes, you are allowed to opt out of the student health insurance coverage and purchase alternative coverage, such as Medigap or a comparable private policy on the open market. Any comparable coverage you purchase will be applied toward the required $2,000 annual minimum. However, it is important to realize that your coverage is secondary to the student health insurance plan for the duration of your time at UC Berkeley. In other words, if you need medical care and the student health plan isn’t adequate to cover your expenses, you would then be responsible for paying your bill or any difference between your insurance and the amount billed by Pacificare.
How does out-of-state coverage work for students who attend out-of-state schools?
School is stressful enough. Add a serious health condition to the mix, and the experience can be downright frightening. But even if you’re attending an out-of-state school, there’s no reason to panic—you may be eligible for coverage from your home state’s plan!
For example, if you’re a student attending a college in another state, you may be able to continue being covered by your home state’s insurance program. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to make coverage available to their own residents who are temporarily residing outside of the state. In most cases, that means that students attending school out-of-state will remain eligible for coverage through their home state’s insurance program.
However, some states have opted not to extend coverage to students who are no longer living within the borders of their state. Before enrolling in school in another state, check with your home state’s health department or insurance commissioner to make sure that you’ll still be covered while studying in another state.
Students need to learn about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to choosing and understanding their student insurance. If you are interested in learning more or have any views to share, contact us.