When fresh high school graduates hit their prom ball, most of them probably has a very good idea about where to go next. But do you have any idea about insuring your new student’s health when he or she leaves to college?
In most cases, teenagers younger than 24 years old are covered by their parent’s medical insurance policy. But if your or your spouse’s plan doesn’t cover college student, it’s time to see what the education facility your teen is heading to has to offer in terms of insurance.
The basics of college insurance plans
In some colleges insurance policies are partially or fully payed by the facility, which undoubtedly will save parents a lot of money. However, the benefits vary substantially from one college to another, so it’s recommended that you study the offers thoroughly after selecting a college. Local insurance companies tend to collaborate with college committees in order to design specific insurance packages for the present college student market.
Signing with a college insurance plans usually offers free doctor’s office visits and annual check ups, however any additional tests, examinations, treatments and prescriptions will have to be paid for. Additional services that may be included as free include maternity care, AIDS/STD tests, cholesterol checks and other activities. The amount of premiums and selection of bonuses vary substantially between colleges, in most cases due to state regulations.
The primary concern for parents with their kids going to college is how the teen will be covered by the family insurance plan (if choosing to stay with it) and how the doctors will respond when he or she goes out-of-state. If you have an HMO plan, it requires special referrals for visiting doctors and other healthcare specialists out of your network. PPOs simply pay less when a person visits out-of-network specialists. In case the teen is leaving for a college that is out of your state, and you don’t want him or her to hassle with domestic doctor referrals, getting prompt medical attention, going with what the college has to offer insurance-wise is the most rational decision for you.
Points to think of when deciding on a college insurance plan
There is a set of factors to think about when selecting a cheap health insurance plan that may save you time and money in the future if evaluated correctly. Here are the main ones:
- Find out of there are any restrictions concerning providers that a student can apply to.
- Learn if there is any coverage during the vacation periods.
- See if there is any health coverage during the summer or winter breaks for the student.
- Get to know if there is an easy access to treatment facilities at the college.
- Investigate what services are offered free of charge or at a reduced price at the campus clinic.
Avoid the coverage from lapsing
Lapsing health insurance when your teen already has a pre-existing condition is likely to cause issues later on. HIPAA imposes that any pre-existing medical conditions can be covered as exclusions in not more 12 months after enrollment. But in case the qualifying coverage is kept without lapsing of 63 days, the insurance company has to take out the length of coverage from the period of exclusion. For example, a 4-month exclusion will result from a 8-month prior coverage, however there won’t be no exclusion period for 18-year coverage. This way it is very important to keep continuous coverage for all medical conditions, regardless whether you buy cheap health insurance at the college or renew your present policy.