Private Health Insurance for Students

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    Understanding Policies

    • Several types of private health insurance policies are available for students. A traditional plan will pay for medical costs, but requires you to pay co-payments and co-insurance when you go the doctor. It reduces the amount you pay, and can prevent your medical expenses from becoming insurmountable. A high deductible plan offers a lower monthly premium, but coverage will not begin until you have reached the deductible amount of at least $1,000. After you reach that amount all of your bills should be covered completely.

    Using the Right Doctor

    • When you have health insurance, it is important to follow the guidelines set out by the health insurance company so you can receive the most coverage possible. All companies have doctors that are in-network or out-of-network. In-network doctors and hospitals have agreed to charge a reduced amount to the insurance company. The insurance company may still cover the out-of-network doctors, but they will pass the higher costs onto you. For example many insurance policies will have you pay 20 percent of the costs of a surgery in an in-network hospital, but if you go out of network you may need to pay for 50 percent of the costs.

    Choosing Plan

    • When you look for plan, choose one that will accept the doctors in your area. Look online to see if there are complaints about getting procedures covered. You should choose a plan that you can afford the monthly or annual premiums. If possible, choose a plan that will cover your student health center to further reduce the amount you will need to pay and to make it easier for you to receive medical care.

    Paying for Premiums

    • The cost of premiums may be the biggest obstacle for students. Consider choosing a policy that allows you to pay annually at the same time you receive student loans so you can pay just once when you have the money and have coverage for the rest of the year. Alternately you can set aside money from your student loans to cover your health insurance costs or you can work to pay for health insurance.

    Health Insurance Offered by University

    • Many universities require each student to carry health insurance. Some universities offer group plans through the university with a set rate. These plans work well with the student health center and cover the doctor there. The premiums may be monthly or they can be paid when your tuition is paid. Other universities offer a variety of plans through private health insurance companies to choose from. Both of these options may be less expensive than an independent health insurance policy and easier to qualify for. Contact your university's student health services to see what options are available to you.

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