Watching your children fly from the nest is not an easy thing. Watching them stumble and fall in their quest for independence is even more difficult.
According to experts, at least 30 percent of young adults over the age of 19 have no health insurance. This puts their education and financial future at risk–and limits their chances of succeeding on their own.
So what can you, a seemingly helpless parent, do to help insure your college-bound student succeeds and thrives?
The Obvious Solution
The most obvious answer is student health insurance. When your children leave home, student health coverage can provide them the financial protection they need for those unexpected times of illness.
It picks up where you leave off by covering health and medical expenses during a vulnerable, transitional time in their lives. And it’s a great way to keep your children sheltered when they need it most–in your absence.
In fact, young persons covered by student health insurance policies don’t have to worry whether their insurance will pay for needed doctor visits or prescriptions; and they don’t have to scramble to find a way to pay for health care when they’re ill. They simply pick up the phone and call their doctor; grab their insurance card and go.
That brings a lot of security and peace of mind to parents and children alike.
If you’re looking for health insurance coverage for your newly-independent student, you’ll find several options available.
Family Health Plan Coverage
If you have a “major medical” or individual health plan purchased on your own, your child should be covered under your plan until the age of 19. Some states have increased this age limit to 25, as long as your child stays unmarried; attends school full-time; remains financially dependent and lives at home. You Must Choose The Best Insurance Company for the Future
If, however, you’re covered under an HMO (health maintenance organization), your child’s medical care is normally covered only within your own health service area (except in the case of emergencies). If your child attends school outside this region, routine medical visits and procedures may not be covered.
If you’re considering keeping your student on your own health policy, talk to your insurance provider to make sure coverage is available where your child will live. If so, the insurer can help your student find a doctor in the appropriate area; tell you what services are covered, and let you know their approximate cost.
University-Sponsored Health Insurance
Nearly all educational institutions now offer school-funded student health insurance policies. Prices are generally reasonable, costing less than $100 per month for a single student and around $200 for a married couple.
If your child receives financial aid or scholarship monies, most school-funded plans allow him or her to use these means to help pay for health insurance coverage. This provides a way for some students and their parents, who could otherwise not afford health care, to maintain much-needed coverage.
Individual Health Plans
If neither a family plan nor school-sponsored plan is available, your child should strongly consider purchasing an individual health policy of his or her own.
Although individual health insurance plans can be expensive, many insurers offer discounts to full-time students.