Many students struggle with finding affordable health insurance. The situation for graduate students is even worse: they are often too old to be eligible to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans (even post-healthcare reform), and out-of-network co-payments are extremely high. At the same time, some graduate school programs require full-time hours, preventing students from finding a full-time job that offers coverage. They may also believe that their small stipends will not cover individual health insurance.
In the case of Purdue grad students, their premiums increased by over one quarter this year! Inferior coverage for dependents is the worst part of all. Spouses of international grad students, who normally don’t have work visas, are beholden to the university’s coverage. Unfortunately, the in-network health care facility does not provide essential services such as access to pediatricians or obstetricians, forcing family members to use expensive out-of-network care.
A study showed that other Big Ten universities provide superior health care for their graduate student populations, although they still have their pitfalls.