The University of Florida and Health Insurance
It’s always a good idea for students to make sure they have health insurance when they’re attending school. In fact, in many cases it’s mandatory. The new Affordable Care Act has benefited thousands of students already since children up to the age of 26 who don’t have employer-sponsored coverage are now allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans. However, there are still thousands of students that don’t have health coverage.
Recent U.S. Census Bureau surveys have shown that approximately 67 per cent of American students receive coverage from their parents’ plans while 20 per cent of them don’t have any insurance and six per cent are insured by public plans such as Medicaid. Many students are forced to drop out of school each year after becoming sick or suffering an injury and are then faced with medical bills that often run into thousands of dollars.
According to a Government Accountability Office study, approximately 30 per cent of American colleges and universities require their students to have health insurance coverage before they can attend classes or even enrol in them. As mentioned, the most common type of student health insurance is to simply stay under the coverage of your parents’ health plan. This is the preferred type of insurance for many students since they can’t be turned down for pre-existing health conditions if you’re insured on their parents’ group plan. It’s also generally regarded as the best type of student health insurance available by most industry experts.
But even if you have coverage under your parents’ insurance plan, you may not be able to access health care providers in their network if you’re attending school far from home. For example, if you live in Miami, Florida and are attending school in New York, you may find this to be the case if the school doctor sends you to see a specialist. In this instance, you’d likely have to pay a higher co-insurance fee and deductible.
If you don’t have any type of student health insurance and are planning on attending school you’ll find that many colleges and universities will sponsor their own insurance plans. However, the premiums and amount of coverage could vary greatly from school to school and you may find you only receive limited benefits. School-sponsored plans are typically good at taking care of contagious diseases such as the flu and usually offer immunizations so the sickness doesn’t spread across their campus. But most of them don’t offer much in the way of coverage for major medical problems.
Some of these student health insurance plans have a maximum coverage limit for certain health conditions and/or drug coverage. This means you could still be faced with big bills if you develop a serious illness. In addition, some of these plans could try to charge higher rates for students with pre-existing conditions or even exclude them. If you’re looking at enrolling in a school-sponsored health plan it’s recommended that you make sure you know exactly what’s covered and what isn’t.
Of course, you can always purchase a private individual health plan that offers more coverage than a school option. You should find that more and more health insurance companies are now offering specific student health insurance. The co-payments and deductibles could be higher, but you’ll be provided with more coverage. Once 2014 rolls around, this could be the best option for some students as the health reform states people with medical conditions won’t be able to be denied coverage.