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How does student health insurance work?

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Published on Aug 23, 2011

How does student health insurance work?
Many colleges and universities require their students to have health insurance before they can enroll in classes.
So if you're a student, and you're not covered by a parent or guardian's health insurance policy, it's time to take notes.
Health reform allows children to stay on their parent's health insurance plan until age 26, which can be a great option if you're going to school near home or have a pre-existing medical condition.
If that's not you, this video will identify three additional types of independently purchased health insurance plans that are typically available to students.
We'll compare them to see how they differ. And, we'll offer a few considerations to help you pick the right plan for your needs.
The Federal government is considering changing the rules regarding student health insurance plans. If the rules change we will update the content of this video.
If you're a college student, you may have more than one health insurance option to choose from. Here are the three most common options you can purchase on your own.
First, many students elect to purchase their own individual health insurance plan, sometimes with help from Mom and Dad.
Second, some students may choose to enroll in a health insurance plan sponsored by their school.
And third -- some students may elect to purchase what's known as an individually-purchased "student" health insurance policy.
Students who opt to purchase their own individual health insurance policy usually purchase the coverage for one of the following reasons:
1. In most states, if you're in relatively good health, individual health insurance coverage can be very affordable.
2. These plans also provide coverage for some Federally recommended preventive care at no out of pocket cost
3. These plans have no dollar limits on the essential medical benefits they provide you over the lifetime of the policy
4. Individual plans purchased in your area may provide good access to physicians and hospitals off of your campus.
5. Finally, students can keep these plans for as long as they wish to own the policy. Graduating from college does not force a student to cancel these types of health insurance plans.
But it's important to note that:
1. Not all applicants who apply for individually purchased health insurance plans are issued a policy.
2. In most states, you could be declined coverage if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Many colleges and universities allow students to enroll in a school-sponsored plan.
Students who enroll in a university-sponsored plan are usually attracted to one or more of the following benefits:
1. Most full-time students, and some part-time students, qualify.
2. Some of these plans make it convenient to receive medical care by directing students to local or on-campus health centers or hospitals.
3. Medical services provided in the network may also have very low co-pays and deductibles.

But, it's important to note that:
1. Some school-sponsored plans may not cover you when you're at home during breaks or if you're away on an internship.
2. Some school-sponsored plans may exclude coverage of any pre-existing conditions you may have.
3. School-sponsored plans have historically placed lifetime limits on the amount of coverage they'll provide -- either on a per injury/illness basis or on the entire plan.
Individual student health insurance policies are typically a mix of benefits from individual health insurance policies and school-sponsored plans.
Students who purchase individual "student" health insurance policies typically like the following benefits:
- Like individual health insurance policies, these plans typically have affordable monthly premiums, though they may be billed annually rather than monthly.
- These plans also usually provide good access to a network of off-campus medical facilities and physicians.

- Like school-sponsored health insurance plans, they're usually available to most students
- They often have low co-pays and low deductibles.
In addition to these benefits, some student plans also offer:
- Tuition insurance, which reimburses you the cost of your tuition if you get an illness that causes you to miss a quarter or semester of school.
- And, like school-sponsored insurance plans, some individual student plans may place lifetime dollar limits on your medical benefits.
If you're trying to choose a health insurance plan that's right for you, understanding the differences in the types of coverage available should help you make an informed decision.
If you have other questions or concerns about your options for health insurance as a student, don't hesitate to chat online or call a licensed eHealthInsurance agent.
eHealthInsurance Customer Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Both while you're shopping, and if you ever have problems with your coverage after your purchase.

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