As a student, you will have the first-hand experience of stretching a limited budget to cover a significant list of expenses. Most students live modestly, whether they are living at home and commuting to school or living on campus and paying dormitory rent. With all the expenses that you have as a student, it can be easy to overlook some, such as student health insurance.
The importance of health insurance cannot be understated. As a student, it will be one of the most important things that you pay for in any given calendar year. If you are yet to decide on your student health insurance for 2019, then the following information will help you to understand why it is critical, what your options are, and where you can find the most affordable health insurance.
Is Health Insurance Compulsory in 2019?
For years in recent memory, health insurance has been federally mandated. If you weren’t insured, then you were (in a very technical sense) breaking the law. Heavy tax penalties were enforced for people who did not buy a health insurance policy, and these penalties were often costlier than simply buying insurance in the first place.
While the Affordable Care Act (colloquially known as Obama Care) is still in effect, you will no longer be penalized for not having student health insurance. While everyone is still technically required to have insurance, the IRS will not punish you if you don’t buy a policy.
Some students will read that information and assume that because there are no longer penalties, it’s OK to go without health insurance for 2019. This, quite simply, would be a huge mistake.
There are several significant disadvantages to not having health insurance. As a student, the risk is not worth it. Without insurance, you will find that:
- Any medical emergency, even a small one, would be financially catastrophic, and could even put an end to your study in the immediate future.
- You won’t have access to free immunizations and screenings.
- You will have to pay for regular physician visits during the calendar year.
- You won’t have access to specialist treatments and consultations, as you will likely have no means to pay for them.
It’s easy to feel invincible when you are young, and sometimes it seems as if any type of illness is a long way off. In reality, illness or a medical emergency could strike anyone at any time, and health insurance will provide you with a necessary safety net.
One of the leading causes of financial ruin in the United States is a lack of health insurance. Medical care is costly, and if you can’t immediately pay for services then it could end up taking a toll on your school life and may even compromise your ability to complete your study.
Do things right and do things smart by signing up for a college student health insurance plan for 2019.
What are Your Options for College Student Health Insurance?
In many cases, you will be able to obtain insurance through the school that you study at. Student health plans are designed to offer basic coverage and emergency coverage at the most affordable rates.
If your university or college offers a student health insurance plan, then that is the first option that you should consider. If you don’t have a plan available to you, or if you feel that the available plan is inadequate, then you do have other options.
If you are under 25 years of age and live in the same state as your family, then you can still receive coverage under the plan of your parents or legal guardian. Even if you are out of state, then you could still receive coverage, however, you will need to clarify this with the insurance provider. In some cases, there will be special conditions for out of state care. This could save you a significant amount of money if your parents are happy to pay the premiums.
If you are a student over 25, then you can buy your own college student health insurance from the open market.
The open insurance market will give you access to the same plans that are available to individuals throughout the United States. You could buy an HMO plan, a PPO plan, or even a Multiplan insurance policy. The right one for you will ultimately depend on your needs and your budget.
An HMO plan is one of the most affordable types of health insurance and is preferred by many college students. HMO plans are more affordable because all care is provided through a single closed network. This means that you will need to see a primary care doctor for a referral before any specialist consultations or treatments. HMO plans are inflexible and can be frustrating for families and people who travel often. However, as a student, the affordability could easily outweigh any inconvenience.
PPO plans are similar to HMOs. Your insurance will cover services from within a closed network. There is added flexibility because you won’t need to choose a primary care doctor. You also won’t need referrals for specialist consultations and treatments. The additional freedom with this type of plan can be beneficial, but it will come at extra cost. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide whether that cost is worth the convenience.
Compare All of the Most Affordable College Student Health Insurance Plans Today
Whether you want to learn more about HMOs, PPOs, or other types of insurance, you can compare all the best options with Mutual Health Partners. Our licensed insurance specialists can present the best plans for you to compare, allowing you to make an informed decision that is best for your unique needs and your budget.
Contact Mutual Health Partners today to secure the best college student health insurance for 2019.