The Cheapest Health Insurance for College Students

February 28, 2024

Cheapest Health Insurance for College Students

Are you a student in college (or a graduate student) seeking low-cost healthcare insurance?

Perhaps you’re heading to university for the first time, or perhaps you’re a senior student that has no health insurance from your parents?

If you are, this guide will explain the options available and when you should think about these choices.

Health Insurance for Parents

If you’re younger than 26 (or age 29 in New York), your parents are generally able to continue to cover you under their insurance. If you’re attending school in a state, your parent’s health insurance plan will cover your medical expenses. If you’re not an issue to your parents, this might be a cost-effective option to keep your health insurance coverage.

But before you decide if this is the best option for you, think about some disadvantages. A lot of health insurance policies are state-specific, and the doctors in-network may be limited to just a few close to your parent’s hometown. Students who are going out of state might want an alternative or supplemental insurance plan. This is particularly important when you have an illness that is chronic and may require regular visits.

Another disadvantage to being on the insurance of your parents is the cost for your parents. Parents who are not financially stable may not be able to cover their insurance. Before you assume that your parents will be able to cover you, be honest about the costs and if your parents are able to handle the expenses. If you’ve got a good job during the time you’re in school, you might think about reimbursing your parents for the costs of ensuring you’re covered.

School-sponsored insurance

School-sponsored insurance plans are typically suitable for international students who require health insurance coverage while studying in the United States. The plans are generally reasonably affordable. After paying the costs, coverage at medical facilities on campus can be free or extremely affordable. The coverage typically runs from the beginning of a semester to the conclusion of the semester (with up to some weeks of overlap).

However, the insurance plans that schools offer aren’t always perfect. If you require an expert, the doctor might not be covered or only at a higher cost. Certain school insurance plans allow you to include dependents (including your spouse or children); however, others do not.

Also, it isn’t always the best value option, particularly for students who require insurance for their spouse or children who are dependent. Before you purchase insurance through a school, be sure to examine the plan against other options. Even if you’re eligible to receive insurance offered by schools, you (and your spouse and children, if applicable) might be eligible for health insurance subsidy or health insurance for free.

For instance, you could be eligible for free health insurance (Medicaid) when you’re a legally “independent” student with an extremely low income. In addition, students who are parents may be eligible to receive CHIP (Medicaid for children), too. Before enrolling in your school’s health insurance program, make sure to complete an application for the healthcare exchange (HealthCare.gov or the equivalent in your state) to find out the costs of options that are available to you.

Commonly, graduate students receive subsidized health insurance in the course of their scholarship award. The health insurance plan is usually described as health insurance for students instead of employer-sponsored health insurance. This implies that the student and dependents can still receive subsidies or health insurance for free. However, it is important to confirm whether your insurance is a school-sponsored plan and not an employer-sponsored policy. If it’s company-sponsored insurance, then you won’t be eligible for certain subsidy programs.

Medicaid

If you don’t have anyone who declares you dependent on your tax returns and you don’t reside with your parents, then you could be eligible for free health insurance coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid is usually restricted to those who earn a low income (which includes a large portion of college students who focus mostly on their studies). Your eligibility for Medicaid is contingent on whether or not you’re dependent (by tax standards), whether you reside with your parents, and your income, as well as other aspects.

If you’re a college student with children or a spouse or both, your spouse and children could be eligible for Medicaid regardless of whether you have insurance elsewhere. You may apply to be eligible for Medicaid via the federal healthcare exchange or through the exchange in your state.

Healthcare Exchange

Students earning higher wages, as well as those who reside outside of their parents’ state, might discover that purchasing health insurance from the healthcare exchange might be the best option for them. If you purchase insurance on the exchange, it could be eligible for tax credits for premiums.

Your tax credits for premiums depend on a few elements:

  • Your family’s income (which includes the income of your parents in the event that you are dependent)
  • The size of your household (including the size of your parents if you’re a dependent)
  • If you’re eligible for health insurance coverage offered by your employer in your state

If you do not have any employer-sponsored insurance or the insurance of your parents isn’t the best option, then a plan offered through the healthcare exchange might be a good alternative for you.

Catastrophic Coverage Plans

Are you healthy, younger than age 30, and earning a good income? If yes, then the catastrophic health insurance plan (available through the exchanges for healthcare) might be a suitable alternative for you.

Catastrophic plans come with fairly low monthly costs (but you aren’t eligible for the tax credit for premiums to lower your premiums). However, they come with extremely large deductibles. They cover certain preventive costs; however, you’ll need to pay for the majority of medical expenses out of your pocket.

While the high deductible can be an important drawback of the plans, they could be beneficial for high-income earners who have to purchase their health insurance. Make sure that you’re choosing the right insurance choice.

A lot of times, a school-sponsored health insurance plan can provide better coverage at a comparable or even less expensive cost. Suppose your income is lower than 400 percent of the federal poverty limit ($49,960 for one person living in a state with a lower income). In that case, you’re probably better off purchasing a traditional insurance policy through the exchanges for health insurance.

Employer-sponsored Insurance

The final kind of insurance for students in college to think about is employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Many major employers provide health insurance as an option for employees who work full or part-time. Based on your work schedule and the health insurance policies of your employer, you may be eligible for the insurance.

If you (or your spouse) are eligible for health insurance offered by your employer, you will not be eligible for tax credits offered through the healthcare exchange. However, you might be eligible for Medicaid or school-sponsored insurance or your parent’s health insurance plan.

The quality and price of health insurance plans offered by employers differ by employer, so make sure to check your plan (if you already have one) with other alternatives.

Health Sharing Ministries

Health-sharing organizations are a viable alternative to insurance, but they operate similarly. These are companies in which members are able to share the costs of healthcare of the company.

These organizations aren’t subject to the mandate for individuals; therefore, when you choose to use one, you aren’t subject to tax penalties. These programs, however, generally require adherence to certain religious or other guidelines and are not suitable for all.

There is also the risk of not receiving the coverage you need if you don’t satisfy certain requirements.

However, the majority of people who use health-sharing programs are content with the cost and quality of care they receive, and this is a popular choice for young adults, particularly those who are self-employed or who are in gig work but do not have access to other insurance. 

US Work Visa Sponsorship Opportunities 2024 | $90K-$250K Salary Jobs

US Work Visa Sponsorship Opportunities 2024 | $90K-$250K Salary Jobs

In the vast array of career opportunities, The United States stands tall as an illuminating beacon, welcoming foreign applicants with a myriad of career opportunities. 2024 will be an opportunity for hopefuls around the world to apply effortlessly to USA Work Visa...

How do I become a hotel manager in Canada?

How do I become a hotel manager in Canada?

Are you interested in working as a hotel manager in Canada's largest cities? It's time to begin applying. There are numerous opportunities all across the country in cities such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. In Vancouver, which is recognized...

How to become a professional Makeup Artist in Canada

How to become a professional Makeup Artist in Canada

Becoming a professional makeup artist in Canada requires you to meet certain requirements and obtain the necessary certifications. It's not all bad news that the process is fairly straightforward when you're determined. To begin, you'll require a diploma from a high...

Related Post

How do I become a hotel manager in Canada?

How do I become a hotel manager in Canada?

Are you interested in working as a hotel manager in Canada's largest cities? It's time to begin applying. There are numerous opportunities all across the country in cities such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. In Vancouver, which is recognized...

How to become a professional Makeup Artist in Canada

How to become a professional Makeup Artist in Canada

Becoming a professional makeup artist in Canada requires you to meet certain requirements and obtain the necessary certifications. It's not all bad news that the process is fairly straightforward when you're determined. To begin, you'll require a diploma from a high...

How to Find a Job as a Web Developer in Canada

How to Find a Job as a Web Developer in Canada

To get a web developer job in Canada, you'll need the skills and qualifications that employers are seeking. A degree or diploma in web development, design, or in a similar field, such as software engineering or computer science. Although it does not always require...

0 Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *