There are many things to worry about when sending a child off to college, health care is not often at the top of the list. Tuition and related college expenses usually take precedence, but college health insurance is just as important, but there are a few things to know beforehand.
Many parents are tempted to simply waive college health insurance coverage or keep their child on their plan. Before doing this parents should consider the benefits college health insurance coverage has over traditional plans. It is recommended to see what the college health plans offers first. It could result in significant savings.
Some of these advantages include reduced costs because most of the care is provided right on campus. Student health insurance coverage only lasts while that student is in school, so it is short term. Traditional insurance typically costs more because it accounts for long term care. Another advantage is that college students are generally healthier since they are in a younger age bracket than the general population.
Another option is see what your current provider offers. College age students may find discounts if they elect to get their own coverage. Since college students are younger and usually in good health existing providers are inclined to offer discounts to entice a student to sign up for their own individual plan.
Smaller schools may not offer college health insurance because it is not cost effective to do so. Schools that do offer coverage may have restrictions or stipulations such as limited the coverage to full time students only.
Ask questions ahead of time. Some of these questions include: Do you provide health insurance coverage? If you do, what are the requirements? Ask if part time students are excluded from being eligible for coverage. Find out if there are any out-of-pocket expenses. Keep in mind you may be required to use doctors and hospitals near campus.