Health Insurance for College Students That Won’t Break the Bank

shutterstock_156575714When it comes to health insurance for college students, there are several options students have for coverage.  However, college students are not exempt from the penalty that people without coverage must pay under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Many college students are already covered under their parents’ health insurance plans, or through their schools. The new “exchanges” part of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) offer an additional option for students.

With your busy lifestyle, it is important to make time for your well-being without it interfering with work and school. Take a look at some tips for healthy living for people with a busy lifestyle.

Read on to learn about options regarding health insurance for college students to find the coverage that is right for you!

Stay on Your Parents’ Plan

Thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act, college students under age 26 can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan. You cannot be denied coverage for medical reasons under your parents’ health insurance plan. However, if you are going to school out-of-state, contact your health insurance company to make sure there are in-network providers near campus. Otherwise, out-of-pocket costs for medical care could be high.

Sign Up for Health Insurance at School

Colleges and universities typically offer health insurance for college students. College health plans offer an advantage over most private health insurance coverage because the insurance premium costs are generally grouped together with other student expenses, such as tuition and housing. Therefore, student loans can assist with payment of health insurance for college students. Also, under school-sponsored health insurance plans, medical services are conveniently often offered on campus.

However, school health insurance plans are also often more limited in the coverage they offer as compared to other individual health insurance options.  It is also sometimes necessary to be enrolled as a full time student in order to qualify for health insurance offered by your college or university. Examine plans carefully before choosing one to make sure it offers enough coverage for your health care needs and budget.

Why stop at health insurance? Your health is important. Learn more about other low-cost ways to stay on top of your health.

Obamacare Coverage

Students can apply for subsidized coverage under Obamacare during open enrollment periods. Buying a policy through your state’s health insurance exchanges, or online marketplaces, under the Obamacare program can make sense if you are on a tight budget. People using the marketplaces can qualify for tax credits to reduce their monthly insurance premiums. You are eligible if your household income is up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level and you meet other criteria, such as not being able to get affordable coverage through an employer.


Another option regarding health insurance for college students is Medicaid, a combined state and federal program that provides coverage to people with a limited income. Students under 65 years of age may enroll in Medicaid if their income is up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. You can apply for Medicaid online or through your state’s local Medicaid agency. Not all states offer expanded Medicaid coverage as an option, so check with your state’s local Medicaid agency for more information.

Catastrophic Health Insurance

If you are under the age of 30, you have the option to buy a “catastrophic” health insurance plan. These types of plans tend to have a low premium, but typically require those insured to pay all medical costs up to a certain amount up front, usually a couple to several thousand dollars. The insurance then would pay for essential health benefits that exceed that agreed upon amount.

Your health is something that should be a daily concern so that you stay healthy and hopefully avoid any health catastrophes in the near future! Learn more about living a healthy lifestyle and incorporating healthy eating into your daily routine.

Healthy eating does not need to mean following a diet fad. Changing your overall eating habits for the better can help keep you healthy and not hungry. Take a look!

Foreign Students in the United States

If you are a foreign student in the United States interested in health insurance for college students, individuals with a non-immigrant status, which includes worker visas and student visas, qualify for insurance through the marketplaces, under the Affordable Care Act.

What if I don’t want health insurance?

Under changes in health care legislation, most Americans are required by law to carry health insurance as of 2014. There are, however, exceptions to the rule, including members of Native American tribes, as well as members of some religious groups.

Also, the mandate to have health insurance does not apply to anyone – including college students  -who does not earn enough money to file income taxes. Currently, that means anyone making under $10,000 as a single person who is under the age of 65 is not required to carry health insurance. Many students, therefore, fall into this category and are not required to have health insurance for college students.

An uninsured stay at a hospital or visit to the emergency room can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, if you do not have health insurance. Having health insurance protects your finances as well as your health by limiting your liability for medical costs. Even if you are not required to have health insurance, it may be a good idea to consider having at least the most basic health insurance for college students.

Staying healthy is important. While being protected with health insurance is important, so is living a healthy lifestyle. Take a look at ways to incorporate healthy diet and exercise into your busy lifestyle, and get started living healthier today!