With the increase in medical care cost, students are a great financial risk should a medical emergency arise. The college student could end up high in debt prior to even entering the employment stage. This can damage a person’s financial credit due to debt from medical costs. Furthermore, it can negatively impact on a person’s ability to certify for housing, car loans or travel rights.
Every student enrolled in more than nine credit hours, graduate assistants and even international students are needed to get health insurance by the University. These students have many options than before to get student health care coverage. How is this attainable? What are some of these mandated health care coverage options? Let us take a look at some of the options that the many type of students have:
Young Students (Below 26 years)
Many young students have the chance to stay on Parent’s Health Plan until they are 26 years of age. It does not matter if one is married or not and if they are financially independent or not. This type of medical insurance has various advantages. The parents are mainly responsible for the medical bills. The student gets the option to work with the family doctors and have access to better coverage.
However, the parent health plan has some limitations also. The student will be unprotected in case the parent becomes unemployed. Additionally, the plan may not cover medical expenses for students living abroad. A student can apply for this type of coverage by simply informing their parents. The parents can then obtain coverage for each one of their children under 26 by providing documents and certificates regarding their age and current uninsured situation.
Students whose Parents can’t Afford Parent Health Plan
Most Universities and colleges provide the mandated health care coverage. The school directly handles the claims instead of hiring an outsider. However, if the school decides to hire an outside insurer to provide health coverage to the students, they are required to meet the qualifications of the Affordable care act (ACA).
The school based insurance plan has some benefits. They are convenient as the medical services are accessible in campus. It also offers broad coverage compared to the parent plan insurance. Unfortunately, the government tax credits can’t be addressed under the student health insurance plans. If interested, a student can sign up for this insurance plan simply through the official enrollment process.
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Many recent graduates experience difficulty in attaining health insurance coverage. They no longer qualify as students so if they had a student medical insurance plan, it becomes automatically invalid. Recent graduates can attain health coverage through the consolidated omnibus reconciliation act (COBRA). It gives the graduates a chance to extend the initial coverage that they had under their parent’s health plan for 36 extra months past their 26th birthday.
This COBRA plan has some advantages as it removes the coverage gaps that come along with evolution to employer based health insurance coverage. On the other hand it is very costly. To attain the COBRA coverage, graduates must inform their parent’s insurance firms that they would prefer a COBRA extension within 60 days of becoming 26 years old.
Students who study abroad have an option of the F1 Visa health insurance. Many international students opting to continue their studies in the USA have the F1 visa. The F1 visa requirements will vary as it largely depends on which university the student is in. The coverage can be attained in numerous ways;
1. School sponsored insurance plan with an alternative to waive
2. Compulsory school sponsored group insurance plan with no choice to waive
3. None school sponsored insurance plan with an alternative to pick your own coverage plan
After determining if your school has a school sponsored insurance coverage plan for F1 visa holders, remember to enquire if your dependents can also be included in the plan, as well as precise information on what the plan intends to cover. Remember, medical debts are the main reason why most people suffer bankruptcy at a very young age. So don’t forget to share this article on Twitter and Facebook and help fellow students to avoid financial woes.