The cheapest student health insurance may be the health plan available from your college or university. However, this cheap insurance may not be the best coverage.
Employer sponsored coverage or standard individual medical and hospitalization insurance policies purchased from will often provide much better coverage. This is the case for two basic reasons.
Policies marketed to students often have substandard benefits. They often will not fully cover a major illness.
Coverage from these policies terminates when a student is no longer a student or when he or she reaches a certain age. If the student is currently sick or injured when the coverage terminates he or she might have a hard time finding coverage.
Often the best option is a policy that the student purchases from a company like Blue Cross or Humana without going through the school. These policies, although not usually the cheapest, are often very inexpensive. This is because most students are very young and are usually very healthy.
One of the changes that occurred in 2010 due to the Health Care Reform bill allows a child to stay on his or her parents’ or parent’s policy until they reach the age of 26. These group and individual private medical insurance policies that are not specifically designed for students are ironically the best options for students in most cases.
Of course, if a parent has a substandard policy this will not be a good option for the child. For this reason, a blanket statement cannot be made that this is always the best option.
Also, sometimes the policy that the parent or parents has can be overpriced even if it is good coverage. This is often true when a child is the second person insured on the policy. Some policies rate the second person as if he or she was a spouse and therefore a younger person does not get the lower rate the he or she would get on a separate policy.
Before making a decision about a student policy it is important to know how much the policy will cover in the event of a catastrophic event. You should also know the exclusions and limitations of the policy.
Very often a medical insurance policy that you purchase from a standard carrier will give you a better deal than the cheapest student insurance you might purchase through a college or university.