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Looking for college student health insurance but aren't sure what to look for? Here are some helpful articles that can help explain college student insurance and help you find a plan that is best for you.

Why College Student Health Insurance is Important

Written by Victoria Troupe

With the rising costs of health insurance and the high possibility of unexpected illnesses, insuring the quality of your health is not an item on a laundry list to be overlooked, but a very necessary factor to be considered. Whether you're starting your college career or preparing to study abroad, there are insurance plans for students available to you. Not only will student health insurance keep you healthy on campus and help you save money, most colleges and universities require proof of student health insurance.

The Risk of Illness on Campus

Going off to college is a big step! The anticipation of new experiences can sometimes lead to allowing important details to fall through the cracks, but student health insurance should not be one of them. The appeal of being out of your comfort zone, your first taste of living on your own, and a new sense of freedom can easily make you forget that becoming sick is not the same when you are far away from home.

Studies have shown that the most common forms of illness that befall college students include: cold & flu, sleep, stress, stomach flu, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and allergies. Several of the above mentioned are sicknesses that are easily contagious and in an institutional setting may be difficult to avoid. Living in the dorms in such close quarters, sleeping less do to studies, and exploring the nightlife can easily lead to a weaker immune system if not properly balanced with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Stomach problems and allergies may also be due to the fact that you may have to adjust to the new foods and vegetation of their new environment.

Although these common illnesses do not tend to be severe illnesses, they can often develop into worse conditions or lead to additional ailments if left untreated. This is a very typical case for those who are uninsured; because they generally receive less health care.

The appeal of being out of your comfort zone, your first taste of living on your own, and a new sense of freedom can easily make you forget that becoming sick is not the same when you are far away from home. Being without the care of your family when you feel weak and vulnerable can be a very difficult experience, but have financial peace-of-mind to visit a doctor or hospital to get yourself checked out and treated without any hassle can ease the process.

The Importance of Being Insured

In general, young adults ages 18 to 34 tend to have the highest rates of being uninsured. As previously mentioned, those who go uninsured have a higher chance of dealing with more severe illnesses due to the lack of healthcare that is sought out and received. Being that unexpected sickness is one of the leading factors for causing family debt, student health insurance should be seen as an essential investment.

Obtaining college student health insurance can be compared to purchasing a type of warranty. Although in the beginning it may seem like just another monthly bill, what you are paying for is a long term safeguard and future relief and satisfaction for any medical incidents that may occur. With student health insurance, the financial stress that may come with a doctor's visit can be made easy. For example, those who are uninsured often times have more difficulty when it comes to negotiating prescription prices because they do not have the support of a larger firm behind them. With the costs of prescription drugs on the rise, it is becoming more and more common that the uninsured choose to skip their medications in order to save money.

Even after sacrificing some of your health care, it is common that a portion of ones savings shift to cover medical expenses rather than other necessary payments. Those who remain uninsured can end up paying more than 1/3 of their medical expenses out of pocket. The amount that may come out of pocket is always dependent on the medical issue, however these unexpected expenses can lead to the uninsured being three-times more likely to have difficulties paying for basic necessities. As a student this could mean less money for groceries, rent, tuition payments, and entertainment.

Why Student Health Insurance over my Parents' Plan?

One of the many benefits of purchasing insurance plans for students is that they are offered at affordable prices and are designed to fulfill the needs of each student's situation. Although every university may have their own requirements, these college student health insurance plans are set up to fulfill the majority of conditions required. Not only do these plans easily satisfy the specifications of each school, but they also ease the bureaucratic process by aiding with paperwork.

Although there may be the option to stay on your parents' health insurance these insurance plans for students may often save you money in the long run and offer a great amount of flexibility. There are plans that allow you to purchase coverage for the specific time that you need. Plans range from a simple month to month basis to a complete academic semester or year. In addition to a flexible time line student health insurance combats the limitations that are often in place with private insurance. Your parents' insurance plan may have very specific limitations on where you can be treated and by whom. If you are far from home, it may not be easy to find a healthcare provider in your area. In the case of any type of emergency, having the flexibility of an individual student plan opens up your network of providers and lifts this potential burden. With the rate of family plans on the rise, paying for a separate college student health insurance plan may be a wiser choice than continuing to pay a more expensive monthly premium to keep you on your parents' plan.

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