Students must have health insurance, as many colleges and universities require students to be ensured. Students may be either covered through their parent coverage or can have their own plan, or the plan can be offered by the college itself. Students should have a way to pay for healthcare expenses while pursuing their degree, irrespective of the fact that whether their colleges require them to have health insurance or not. Luckily, there are several health insurance options available for students that extend beyond college and parent’s health plans, including short-term health insurance.
A short-term health plan is a good option if students are not on their parent’s plan or are over the age of 26 years and require an affordable coverage option. Besides short term plans, students may also opt for a catastrophic health insurance plan, Medicaid, or their employer or their spouse’s employer-based coverage. Short-term health plans’ benefits generally vary plan to plan and these plans typically comprise of surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, medical services, and mental health services among others. Though, these plans are temporary policies but prove beneficial while paying for unexpected medical expenses.
Why Students Generally Prefer Short-term Plans?
Short-term health plans generally appeal to students mainly due to its affordable budget, as students can obtain health coverage at quite an affordable price. These plans cost up to 50% less than an unsubsidized ACA plan, so students who are looking to minimize their expenses prefer having short-term plans. Since short term plans are designed for affordability so these plans do not include all the ACA essential health benefits and people with pre-existing medical conditions are also denied coverage, thus students who don’t need all the benefits of an ACA plan and who do not have any pre-existing condition will find short-term plans beneficial.
Some of the other reasons due to Which Short-term Plans appeal to Students are:
- They can apply all through the year, as these plans have no open enrollment period.
- Students can apply easily because it takes only a few minutes to apply and upon approval, they get immediately notified.
- Coverage of the short-term plans starts quickly, as soon as within 24 hours after the application is approved.
- There are no network restrictions ad students are free to visit any healthcare provider. Benefits are not based on in or out-of-network rates.
- Short-term plans can be obtained for as few as 30 days to up to 364 days, depending upon the needs of the students and their state’s law.
- Students also have the option to choose from a range of deductible amounts along with the optional benefits that come with the plan.
Students Prefer to Consider a Short-term Plan under the Following Conditions
There are few conditions in which students instead of ACA-plans prefer to have short-term plans to meet their college requirements of having coverage while pursuing their courses.
- Students over the age of 26 years who no longer qualify under their parent’s health plan.
- Students who don’t have access to health insurance through any of the options like coverage under their parent’s plan, spouse employer, or through their employers.
- Students who come to college without any coverage and don’t want to have a plan offered by the college.
- Students who want an affordable alternative to an ACA-plans.
- Students who don’t reside near the in-network providers covered by their parent’s plans.
Students looking to have a short-term plan can enroll online or through agents and before enrolling students will have to check whether they qualify for a short-term plan or not and if they qualify then they can enroll in the plan. Short-term plans are not available in every state, so students will need to check whether the plan is available in their state or not. The maximum length of the plan and the number of times the plan can be renewed also vary by state.
Students Coverage Requirements by Colleges
The coverage requirements for students vary by the college to college and every college is required to send their coverage requirement policies to students. Most of the colleges have mandatory enrollment for students in health plans and generally, students are automatically enrolled and billed along with their tuition unless the students apply for a waiver proving that they have adequate coverage and so they should be exempted from the college plan. Students who want to have clarity on the health plan they should have while pursuing a course in college, then they should consult with their college for more information.
Choosing the Best Health Plan
As far as having health insurance plans for students is concerned, most of the students receive coverage through their parent’s plan and some of the students have another type of plan and few students even remain uninsured or they are not sure about their coverage. Generally, students can easily identify the best plan available and if they are unable to find the best plan, then they should consider the premium, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and plan’s network to choose the plan that best suits them.