Student Health Insurance Plans

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Student health insurance plans resemble those of private insurance policies purchased by adults who have long since graduated school. Some policies cover only the basics, from routine checkups to annual physicals. Others are more comprehensive in nature and include prescription drug benefits, vision care, and dental treatment as well.

Choosing the most fitting plan requires an assessment of your general health, your finances, and your need for choice. Students who are in relatively good health can take advantage of low monthly premiums and deductibles at the same time, while those with enduring or chronic illnesses will face higher rates. By the same token, those who are content to have their providers chosen for them or restricted to a network will find significantly lower fees than patients who demand total freedom of choice.

Hand-Tailoring Your Own Plan

The unique position of college students, who are often halfway between parental dependence and complete autonomy, makes customized plans all the more attractive. Lots of incoming freshmen are still included under their parents' health plans and therefore have no need for broad coverage. Others have parents who lack coverage themselves and must therefore purchase all-inclusive health plans. The rest of the student population resides somewhere in between these two polarities.

It's not uncommon for students to need supplemental insurance when away at school, which is where many insurance companies make their money. A parent's plan may not cover certain benefits for kids who go to school out of state, which means these youngsters must often pick up dental or vision packages on their own. Luckily, plans abound that give students the option of buying only those benefits they truly need, which helps keep overall health care costs in check.

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