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What to Do About Healthcare in College

Diversity Students Graduation Success Celebration ConceptSpring is an exciting time for many reasons. It’s a time of new beginnings, and for high school students, that new beginning might include an acceptance letter to their college of choice. As you prepare to send your child off into the world to pursue their dreams, have you investigated their options for healthcare?

Where is your child’s intended college? If it falls within your healthcare plan’s service area, the easiest answer is to just keep them on your family health insurance plan. So as you finalize college plans, call your health insurance company to see whether they cover providers in that area.

Due to rules set forth by the Affordable Care Act, adult children can stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26. In most cases this should get them through college and even grad school, without an interruption in healthcare coverage. But of course, you want to make sure that your plan actually includes care providers within a reasonable distance of your child’s college. Otherwise you should pursue another option.

Investigate student healthcare plans. If your own healthcare plan doesn’t look like a good option for your child, ask their intended school about student health insurance policies. Investigate the policy fully, because the benefits might vary quite a bit from the plan to which you’re accustomed. In particular, take note of the plan’s deductible, keeping in mind that it will be separate from your own.

Check out individual healthcare plans. If your child has decided to attend college in another state, their healthcare system might be quite a bit different from ours. In California, we can purchase policies through Covered California, often including an income-based subsidy to help with the cost of premiums. But you can’t assume that every state operates in exactly the same way, so do your research to discover the approximate cost of an individual health insurance plan in that state.

As always, you can give us a call if you have questions about your health insurance policy. We can help you weigh your options and choose a plan that is right for this stage in your life.