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Do You Really Need A College Health Insurance Plan

May 6, 2008
When you are finally done with your high school education, there is no doubt that you'll be enrolling into a college. Many times when a child reaches the age of 20, they are no longer covered by their parents' insurance and this can lead to a troubling situation if they are not working and just strictly going to college. However, many colleges offer health insurance plans. Whether one of these insurance plans are right for you or not takes a lot of deliberation.

College health insurance benefits are going to vary from campus to campus. Although many people think that they are free, this is not true. While there is usually no charge for an office visit and routine checkups, the student will have to pay for lab work and other specialist type of visits. Benefits will usually pay completely for only types of covered services at the campus health center. In the event that you have to see an outside doctor then the student's coverage can drop up to 70% and run the risk of being required to pay a high deductible.

If you have a pre-existing condition, then you may have a problem with getting treatment at the college health center. Having a pre-existing illness or disability does not mean that you will be disqualified for obtaining a college health insurance plan, but you may not be able to get treatment for that pre-existing illness. This can lead to a number of problems if a new problem arises and is a product of a pre-existing illness.

All plans are different, so be sure you find out everything you can about your college's plan. Be sure to check if you or your child will be covered during summer break when students are not taking classes. This is important because you don't want to have an accident and find out that the insurance becomes inactive when they are not in class. Many colleges have coverage during summer break, but some do not.

Make sure you understand the plan. Is it an HMO, or can the member use any provider they want? This is just as important because you want to know where you can go in the event of an emergency, and there is nothing worse than finding out after the fact that you will be stuck with paying the full amount for a medical bill.

There really is no definitive answer as to whether you should or shouldn't commit to getting college health insurance. Be sure that you understand your plan fully so that no problems can arise in the event of an emergency. While it is not free insurance, it surely will save you money in the event of an accident or illness.
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