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Wednesday May 24, 2017
Student Health Insurance

Student health insurance is both a wise investment and a necessity given the high cost of health care. Students are most vulnerable particularly if they are studying outside their own countries. The low cost of insurance is surely protection against the high cost of illness and medical procedures or treatments.

 


 

Indeed, several reasons exist for purchasing student health insurance.

  • Many parents mistakenly believe that their employer-sponsored insurance program covers their children. In reality, many are not covered after reaching the age of eighteen. Admittedly, some programs extend the coverage as long as the child attends a recognized institute, but there may be restrictions and limitations to the policy.
  • Education costs are high and should a student require medical assistance while living on campus, monies are diverted from the education to pay doctors and other urgent care providers.
  • Even in countries such as Canada, where provincial governments cover health care costs, a student leaving his/her province or the country may not be adequately covered. With free health care within one's province, in most instances, it only covers doctor visits and hospital stays. It does not cover medications, ambulance transport, and other medical supplies that may be required.
  • Likewise, people with extended health care coverage from the major health insurance companies may not be authorized to see a doctor outside of their approved network.
  • Universities and colleges are more apt to deal with student health insurance plans than other plans. They are less likely to refuse the insurance.
  • Student health insurance is typically cheaper than traditional health insurance policies, as students are in a low risk category due to their ages.
  • Students are covered while away from school for holidays such as Spring break, for example.

Eligibility for student health insurance includes inbound or international students coming to a particular country (for example USA), and that country's outbound students, traveling abroad to study (for example Americans studying in England). In addition, insurance companies accept students in co-op programs, internships, work projects, and exchange programs. And if the students have children or spouses, they may be eligible as well.

While student health insurance is invaluable in the case of emergency, it is wise to understand the policy and any restrictions that may apply. Some of the more common factors that are misinterpreted or assumed are:

  • Pre-existing conditions are generally not accepted. Thus, if the student is sick or hurt before applying for insurance, he/she is not eligible for coverage.
  • If the student is inbound, he/she is not covered while vacationing in his/her home country. In many instances, however, the student is free to holiday elsewhere and is still covered by the insurance policy. Additionally, there may be time constraints on how long a student may be out of the residing country at any one time, and totally for the duration of the active policy. For example, he/she may be permitted to leave for thirty days at a time and/or in total no more than fifty percent of the time the policy is in effect.
  • Dental may not be covered.
  • Although most plans cover medications, some only do so for a thirty day supply, thus medications for chronic conditions are not covered.
  • Doctor visits and/or treatment may be excluded for chronic conditions.
  • There may or may not be maternity coverage.

Lastly, many people wonder why student health insurance is much cheaper? The rationale for the insurance provider is that because the students are younger, it is assumed they are in much better health than other age brackets. Therefore, the risk to the company is much less and consequently, they can afford to offer the insurance much cheaper.

 
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