Posts Tagged - ‘student health insurance’

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Will Student Health Insurance Survive?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

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The shape of health insurance plans is set to change due to healthcare reform. Health coverage for students is no different.

Colleges and universities all over the country are waiting with bated breath for new guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. They want to ensure that their offerings meet the minimum standard for adequate coverage as “Bronze Plans”. If not, such plans are in danger of disappearing: students with employed parents can stay on their health insurance until age 26, while others can buy coverage through the newly-created health insurance exchange markets.

Student health insurance is often maligned for charging high rates for inferior coverage–especially nonsensical given the generally young and healthy population. Moreover, many campuses have their own mandates.

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Grad Students’ Affordable Health Insurance Struggles

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

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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.

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Adult Children On Health Insurance Plans? Not So Fast

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

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Although Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has asked health insurance companies to extend coverage to adult children until the age of 26–who would otherwise age out of their parents’ plans or become ineligible upon college graduation–immediately, they aren’t legally mandated to do so until the first plan year beginning after September 23rd.

Actually, most health insurers have agreed to do so. It’s the employers who are holding out until the last minute. Most corporate health insurance plans don’t renew until January 1st. That leaves newly minted university graduates in the lurch for several months.

Even those companies who are willing to retain existing coverage won’t let young adults whose coverage previously lapsed re-enroll until next year.

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When Student Health Insurance Isn’t Enough

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

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Student health insurance is generally helpful to the majority of college and university populations, who are young and healthy. However, sometimes it’s not sufficient.

It may not cover everything you need. For example, insurance might only cover the partial cost of treating accident-related or athletic injuries. With the high-deductible health insurance plans often targeted towards this demographic, they may have to chip in with thousands of dollars they are unlikely to have.

When it comes to health insurance, the options marketed towards students are far more likely to have annual and lifetime benefit limits. Healthcare reform will ban this practice, but that will take time to fully implement.

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Student Health Insurance Stays Active During Summer Vacation

Friday, May 21st, 2010

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Good news for many college students: in most cases, your student health insurance won’t expire during the summer, even if you just graduated.

Of course, it depends on the particular plan; make sure to call your health insurance company to find out if you can keep your coverage over the summer months. If not, you may need to buy short term health insurance for the interim period.

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Recent College Graduate? Good Health Insurance News!

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

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It’s college graduation season. After all the pomp and circumstance, there are still some issues to deal with. If you bought student health insurance with your university, it will probably expire soon.

In this economy, the vast majority of graduates don’t have a job already lined up. Even if you do, you’ll need health insurance to fill the gap before it becomes effective.

What can you do? Individual health insurance is always a good option, but there’s another bright spot: you can stay on or rejoin your parents’ health policy until the age of 27. Although the healthcare reform law doesn’t require that until the end of September, many major health insurance companies have decided to change their rules early. Check with a licensed agent to see if your family’s plan is one of them.

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Student Health Insurance Investigation Finds Problems

Friday, April 9th, 2010

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After an investigation, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo believes that many providers of student health insurance are offering inferior coverage for higher rates. In effect, they receive far more in premiums than they pay out in claims.

College students have been a boon to health insurance companies: the typical student is their perfect customer–the young, healthy adult with no pre-existing conditions. Their policies are profitable, and help pay for other policyholders’ claims. Over half of America’s universities require their students to have health coverage for safety reasons, but some are able to negotiate better deals from insurers than others.

The issue is that there aren’t many of those sicker patients in the student pools, so the more expensive premiums are largely moot. Since students are looking for affordable health insurance, many colleges keep costs down by providing very little in benefits (despite state regulations meant to prevent that). Many plans don’t cover injuries sustained while intoxicated, an issue for many in this environment.

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College Funding and Student Health Insurance

Friday, March 19th, 2010

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There’s a strange, unrelated provision in the healthcare reform bill: college grants. Over the next decade, the bill would put $60 billion towards Pell Grants. The grants help low-income college students afford higher education. While that’s certainly a worthy goal, its relation to health insurance plans is tenuous, at best.

In effect, it satisfies progressive House members who believe that the Senate bill is not comprehensive enough. The amount also includes money the Congressional Black Caucus pushed for in order to aid historically black colleges and universities. Since the provisions are related to the budget, they can pass through the reconciliation process. However, Republicans will surely take the opportunity to decry the unrelated inclusions.

With increased Pell Grants, more young adults will be able to attend college. As a result, they will need student health insurance. Many universities already require their students to be insured, and the reform bill includes a national mandate with subsidies.

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One in Four Young Adults Without Student Health Insurance

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

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A recent survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has found that nearly one in four young adults and students lack affordable health insurance. That’s probably the reason why one-fourth of American adults ages 18-24 haven’t seen a doctor in more than one year!

Putting off preventative care can lead to major health problems and higher costs in the long run. Young adults in college can buy student health insurance that covers primary care doctor visits; in fact, many universities require their students to be insured. Even if yours doesn’t, it’s still a good investment in your health care. Meanwhile, others can buy individual health insurance.

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Young Voters Still Support Healthcare Reform

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Health Insurance Reform and Young Adults

A lot of attention has gone towards Americans who are angry at the Democratic party for overreaching on healthcare reform. The issue appears likely to endanger Democrats’ chances in this fall’s midterm elections. Frustrations expressed by the other side, whose who feel that the Obama administration’s proposed reforms don’t do enough to provide greater access to affordable health insurance, have received less attention. If it looks like the Obama administration and Congress plan to ignore their concerns, they may tune out of the political process altogether.

That seems to be changing. An increasing number of political pundits are speculating that the young adults that propelled President Obama into office in 2008 will be absent from the polls this November. While it is common for this demographic to skip voting on electoral off-years, it puts the Democrats in even more danger. Republicans have made some inroads by warning of the impact healthcare reform would have; namely that forbidding many pricing practices that many consider discriminatory to those of a certain age or with pre-existing conditions will harm young voters by making individual and Speaker Pelosi under CC 2.0)

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