Being in college is already a hectic and taxing period for all students, but one thing a student shouldn’t have to agonize about is paying gigantic bills for healthcare. Students can find they have further alternatives when looking for affordable health insurance, with the Affordable Care Act.
If you are enrolled in college and searching for affordable health insurance, here are some options following.
Remaining on Your Parents’ Insurance Plan
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare or ACA), it is possible to enrol or continue as a dependent on a parent’s insurance policy, which usually proves to be the most affordable health insurance alternative. The plans that are able to cover dependents as well, are bound by law to allow children to stay on the plan up until the age of 26 years old. There is a possibility that it will not cost a father or mother any additional costs to even keep their child on their plan, because certain plans cover the whole family for one set price.
Even if you are a student and not even living at home with your parents, it is still possible to stay a dependent on their plan—and it is not required to be a dependent for tax purposes. On the other hand, it gets a tiny bit complex if you are enrolled in an out of state institution. It is wise to confirm with the insurance company if they have in network suppliers nearby the school that you are attending. Also it depends on the plan whether it is possible or not. If you do not check with the insurance company, your parents may be dishing out extreme amount of cash if you ever need to be hospitalized, etc.
Considering a Student Health Plan
For the most part, a lot of the post-secondary institutions also offer affordable health insurance plans, which is usually a great choice over applying an individual policy on your own. The plans that are offered by the colleges are usually group-based. What this means is since many students are purchasing policies as a group, the costs are basically significantly cheaper than a normal individual policy. Moreover, if you are taking out student loans, you can pay for the premiums using the loans. This is a great option for the students who are struggling with paying for their education.
Though, one disadvantage to this type of plan, is they are more often than not a little more limited when it comes to what they are able to cover. With that, it is wise to research your college’s policies in great detail before you proceed to sign up.
Buying through Your State’s Exchange
Each state in America has a “health exchange”/marketplace, which was born through the Affordable Care Act. These health exchanges are where private insurers are presenting plans similar to normal policies and an option for affordable health insurance. An advantage to this type of plan is it may be possible to be eligible for income assistance, which can decrease your insurance bills considerably.
Those subsidies would be taking the form of tax credit, which essentially means you are required to report a tax return to test if you meet the criteria. Therefore, those that carry a low income, and not enough to file a tax return, they now have a motive to attempt at one. So when filling out the application for the insurance exchange, when you are asked if you are covered by health insurance, choose “No”. You can even do this if you are presently on your college’s plan and are expecting to surrender that plan.
Medicaid, which makes affordable health insurance available to lower income residents, has also been spread through many states. If you are to fill out a marketplace application, you can see if you qualify to get additional savings under this federal and joint state program.
More often than not, health exchanges and health plans through colleges can offer adequate and reasonable coverage at an inexpensive price. Nevertheless, the students that are especially in need of financial assistance can turn to catastrophic coverage.
Catastrophic coverage are intended to supply support if one goes through an extreme medical “catastrophe”. The exchange plans can be purchased by those under 30, as well as people under hardship exemption. They will also have to include 3 primary care visits annually. Other than that, healthcare costs are considered out of pocket until the deductible is reached. This can be around $6,000.
But one must be aware that catastrophic coverage isn’t always the best option. If one is fairly healthy, they can gain easily through low premiums. And if something unanticipated occurs, one will realize something more complete would have been more helpful.
The Bottom Line
Nowadays, it is not difficult for college students to find many options for affordable health insurance. In order to get a decent deal, one must research all possible alternatives.