If you’re going off to college, you need student health insurance. But what happens if you get sick or injured while you’re there? Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by your relative youth and apparent good health. Catastrophic accidents and sudden ailments can happen to anyone at any time, and big medical bills could derail all of your carefully laid plans. So, it’s important to make sure you have health insurance coverage.
Here are some options:
Stay on Your Parent’s Health Insurance
If your parents carry you on their insurance, stay on it as long as you can.
Dependent children must be allowed to stay on your health plan up to age 26 unless your young adult is eligible for employer health coverage.
No Longer Working or Covered by Your Parents, Check Out COBRA
If you have recently left a job that provided you with group health insurance, a federal law called COBRA allows you to stay on that plan for at least 18 months as long as you pay the full premiums. The health reform legislation does not make any changes in COBRA.
If you are over 26 and still attending college, you may lose the health plan coverage that your parents have been providing. However, you may be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage for some period of time. Your parents, who have been carrying the insurance for you, will need to check with their insurance agent or benefits manager at work to make sure that you are eligible.
See if Your School Offers Health Insurance
Many colleges and universities offer low-cost health plans for their students through contracts with private health insurance companies. Check with your admissions office to see if your school does, and if so, what sort
of coverage you can get.
Buy Your Own Insurance
If your school does not offer a low-cost health plan, you may want to consider buying an individual health insurance policy through an insurance broker or agent.
Individual policies can be expensive, and the health plan will evaluate your health before making a decision to provide you with coverage. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, a health plan may either refuse to cover you or impose a pre-existing condition exclusion period.
However, effective January 1, 2014, health plans will no longer be allowed to impose a pre-existing condition waiting period or refuse insurance to anyone with such a condition. Also, starting in 2014, you will be able to purchase health coverage in a health insurance exchange in your state or region.
Health Insurance Through Medicaid
If your family’s income is low, your family is beset by high medical bills, or you have a disability, you may qualify for Medicaid. To find out if you are eligible, check with your state’s insurance department.
Cosmo Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency based in Hackensack (Bergen County) and Lakewood (Ocean County), New Jersey that offers an all-encompassing range of insurance options for both individuals and businesses. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating our knowledge of the insurance guidelines for healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance, self-insurance, dental, disability, and long term care insurance, we keep our clients up-to-date with affordable plans that cover all their specific insurance needs.