What Is College-Sponsored Health Insurance for Students?
As you navigate through various college prospects, you're likely to discover that many universities, graduate schools, professional/career schools, colleges, and even trade schools, including ones in California, are beginning to offer school-sponsored health insurance plans for their students. Some of these schools not only offer these programs, they require students who cannot show proof of acceptable insurance coverage elsewhere to enroll.
What is College-Sponsored Health Insurance for Students?
This is one of those catch-all phrases that varies a great deal from one college or university to the next. Not all college-sponsored health insurance plans are the same. However, most college-sponsored plans focus on low-cost insurance coverage by limiting maximum payout, placing caps on hospital care, or limiting treatment to on-campus providers. Some school-sponsored health insurance plans provide more thorough coverage at an additional cost.
What are the Benefits of College-Sponsored Insurance Plans?
One of the biggest benefits of college-sponsored insurance plans involves students who are attending college out of state or away from the PPO organizations of their parents' insurance. Students who are no longer eligible for coverage on their parents' plans will also greatly benefit from student plans, which are available for much less than traditional insurance. This is highly advantageous for graduate students who may cross the age threshold for continued insurance coverage as students on parents' plans. Further, many college-sponsored plans cover the student during the entire year, not just the school year.
What are the Restrictions of School-Sponsored Insurance?
Because college-sponsored insurance plans are designed for college students there are a few inherent restrictions in these plans. College-sponsored health insurance plans for students focus on conditions and treatments that are most common on college campuses and are excellent in these circumstances. However, most of these types of plans are not designed to handle major medical situations or needs. In addition, school-sponsored insurance plans may not cover the part-time student, nor does the plan always follow you if you transfer schools.
Part of the trade-off when getting low cost plans for students is that you're giving up some of the benefits that traditional full insurance coverage provides. One recommendation to consider is to purchase rider policies to help cover injuries sustained in accidents, cancer treatments, or other catastrophic illness coverage for conditions that are not as common among college students. These policies are usually low-cost policies that provide peace of mind in the event that any of these situations arise.
Keep in mind, you may need additional insurance coverage from what your college plan offers in order to be truly covered. The key is to make sure you know what your college plan really provides and decide whether or not it's a good idea to consider an additional high-deductible insurance policy to back up the school-sponsored plan.
Why is College-Sponsored Health Insurance Important?
College-sponsored health insurance is important nonetheless -- for many reasons. First, it helps to insure that students seek medical attention when it's necessary rather than skipping it altogether for fear of the costs. Second, it makes health insurance coverage available to those who would not otherwise have access to it. Finally, it's instrumental in preventing the spread of various infectious diseases from one end of college campuses to the other. When students seek treatment early in the process of certain illnesses and conditions (such as flu outbreaks), it limits the exposure to other students throughout the campus.
The benefits of college-sponsored health insurance are really good for the things most college students need. They also provide peace of mind to anxious parents who, for the first time in their children's lives, won't be there to make sure they're taking care of themselves adequately. The low cost of these insurance plans also makes them affordable for struggling families trying to cover the cost of college while also seeing to the health and well-being of their students. It's hard to find a true downside to the coverage benefits for the price.