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Student Cover

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Student Cover - Making Insurance Affordable for Students
Being a student can be an exciting yet challenging time financially. With tuition, rent, books, and other expenses, budgeting can be difficult. Finding affordable health insurance coverage should not be another stressor. There are options available to help students access medical care without breaking the bank. Here is what students need to know about getting covered.

If You're Under 26 - Use a Parent's Plan

The Affordable Care Act allows young adults to remain on a parent's health insurance plan until they turn 26 years old. This applies even if they are married, not living with parents, attending school, or financially independent. Taking advantage of this option is usually the most affordable route for coverage. Be sure to talk to your parents to understand the details of their health plan and what is covered.

Look Into Student Health Plans

Many colleges and universities offer student health insurance plans specifically for enrolled students. While they typically have limited provider networks, these plans can be an affordable way to get access to basic care on campus. They usually have lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs compared to individual marketplace plans. Coverage durations are tied to academic semesters or years. Do your research to see what plan offerings and features best meet your needs.

Explore Your State's Medicaid Program

Some students with very low incomes may qualify for free or low-cost health coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility criteria takes into account your monthly income and size of your family. The required procedures or criteria may vary from state to state. Single students who work part-time may fall within income ranges in certain states. It does not hurt to explore your options through government NHS, healthcare or Medicaid websites. Medicaid could significantly reduce your healthcare costs.

Shop the Individual Insurance Marketplace

If the above options are unavailable, shopping the Health Insurance Marketplace is another avenue to find an affordable plan. You can compare different private insurers' rates after inputting information about your expected income, family size, age, zip code and tobacco use. Open enrolment periods run from November 1 through December 15 each year. Those under 30 may find catastrophic plans with lower premiums - just be aware these have higher deductibles and restrictions.

The key for students seeking health coverage is to understand all the options available in your state. Weigh choices based on premium costs, deductibles, provider networks, prescription benefits and other features. Finding an affordable plan for your situation will give you peace of mind and financial protection in your important college years.

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