Poor health might be the last thing on your mind as a college student, but it always pays to be prepared for the worst to happen, especially when you’re living on a student budget. Whether you have just graduated high school and are preparing to move away from home for the first time to go to college, or are returning to school as an adult to complete postgraduate study, having the right health insurance to cover unexpected health costs is key. With the Affordable Care Act, students can now choose from an assortment of different healthcare coverage options. We’ve listed some of the best health insurance options for students.
Parents’ Health Insurance
Thanks to the health care reform, college students can now remain on their parents’ health insurance plan up until the age of 26. However, there are a few things to bear in mind if you are hoping to get your student health insurance this way, especially if you are planning to move to a college in a different state, in which case you will need to make sure that your insurance provider is aware of this and ensure that there will be in-network providers near your college campus. In order to make the most of your access to your parents’ plan, college students who are moving away may find it useful to schedule their regular healthcare appointments at times where they are visiting home or on vacation.
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College Health Plans
Many colleges will be able to offer you a health insurance plan which you will get through school. Opting for a college health plan can have many advantages over going with an outside provider, as these plans often come bundled with other college costs such as tuition fees, making them easier to manage for students. Health insurance plans and advice on choosing the right coverage is available from most colleges for both on-campus and online students. So, whether you’re moving states to a new school or choosing to study for an online marketing degree with Arizona State University, contact your college and see what they have to offer.
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Students who come from low-income families, or older students who are relying on their own low income whilst furthering their education may be able to apply for Medicaid, a federal-state program which provides health insurance to low-income Americans. However, bear in mind that as only half of the states have decided to expand their Medicaid programs, it will not be available to students at all colleges. If your home state provides Medicaid to students but the college that you want to attend is in a state which does not, you might want to consider studying from home instead in order to save money. Online learning has plenty of opportunities, from nursing degrees to MBA courses or online marketing degree programs amongst many more to choose from.
Living on a student budget can often be tight, but it’s important to factor in health insurance and out-of-pocket medical costs when working out your college living costs.