Noel Carrillo was nervous this summer about his lack of health insurance.
“I was a little bit scared because things happen all the time,” said the 26-year-old Westwood resident.
But now that he’s headed to medical school at UCLA, help has arrived. Like millions of other students across the nation, he’s covered by a university health plan.
Insurance coverage for young adults has been in the news as provisions of the Affordable Care Act have begun to take effect, including the option of young adults’ remaining on the parents’ policies until age 26. In addition, there are federal regulations taking effect next year requiring nearly all Americans to have health insurance.
Though health insurance is often last on students’ lists of things to think about, experts say they and their parents need to carefully consider a variety of options to make sure they’ve got the best coverage for their circumstances and their wallets.
Student health plans
As many as 1.5 million undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in a health insurance plan offered through a college or university, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many schools require students to either buy the health insurance policy they offer or show proof of other coverage.
The Affordable Care Act provides new advantages for students covered by their school’s health insurance plan. Among them is the requirement that the plans provide preventive health services and access to contraception at no additional cost.
Overall, the greatest benefit of the law “is free preventive services,” says Tamika Butler, the California director of Washington-based Young Invincibles, a national organization that seeks to represent the interests of 18- to 34-year-olds. “Even with a college plan, students sometimes can’t afford to go to the doctor.”
Many student health plans aren’t required to comply with some of the law’s protections, including one that eliminates caps on annual or lifetime benefits. These caps have been a common cause of financial hardship when students suffer injuries or illnesses.
Regardless, student health plans can be a cost-effective option for good coverage, experts say. “The other advantage of a student plan is you can fold it into your financial aid package so you don’t have to put cash on the barrel,” says Jenny Haubenreiser, immediate past president for the American College Health Assn.
Care on campus
Whether or not you buy into your school’s health insurance plan, you may be required to pay a fee to help support an on-campus health clinic.
Although the fees vary, Haubenreiser says it’s safe to assume a charge of $100 to $200 per semester. This is not a health insurance policy, but the clinics are a good source of primary care for students.
It’s important to understand, however, that this typically doesn’t cover hospital stays. “Most student health service is only for outpatient care,” says Martin Rosen, co-founder and executive vice president of Health Advocate, a patient advocacy organization based in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Stay on Mom’s or Dad’s plan
Under the health law, most young adults can now stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26.
This part of the law has helped about 3.4 million young adults nationwide gain insurance coverage. In some cases, it costs nothing to add adult children to a policy. Other plans charge at most $150 a month, which can still be cost-effective, says Mike Thompson at consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ human resources services.
Pay careful attention if the student attends school out of state. Many health plans require you to use a network of healthcare providers within the geographic area in which the policy is issued.
If the plan is a preferred provider organization, typically you can see out-of-network doctors, although costs will be higher if you do. But experts say this can work if a healthy student visits the doctor only when home on break, as long as there is a health clinic on campus that can meet the student’s primary care needs.
- ^ University of California, Los Angeles (www.latimes.com)
- ^ Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (www.latimes.com)
- ^ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (www.latimes.com)
- ^ PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.latimes.com)
Healthy Living (Fit to 100: Secrets to Health and Longevity) (Kindle Edition) tagged “health tips” 8 times
Thu, 23 Aug 2012 19:22:02 GMT Healthy Living (Fit to 100: Secrets to Health and Longevity) (Kindle Edition)By C.D. Shelton Buy new: $0.99 Customer Rating: Customer tags: long life(8), healthy living(8), health tips(8), live long(8), health and wellness(7), longevity(7), live longer(7), healthy lifestyle(7), health(7), health and fitness(7), healthy aging(7) http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Living-Fit-100-ebook/dp/B007DCBIQ8/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20
Weight Loss Tips: Concise Advices For Losing Weight And Prevent It From Coming Back Again (Kindle Edition) tagged “health tips” 6 times
Thu, 6 Dec 2012 09:45:00 GMT Weight Loss Tips: Concise Advices For Losing Weight And Prevent It From Coming Back Again (Kindle Edition)By Stephen Williams Buy new: $4.99 Customer Rating: Customer tags: health tips(6), weight loss(5), shedding pounds(4), losing weight(4), healthy lifestyle(4), dropping inches(4), weight loss tips(3), diet(2), tips for losing weight, health, how to lose weight, healthy weight loss http://www.amazon.com/Weight-Loss-Tips-Concise-ebook/dp/B009MZ673I/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20
Farm worker event features safety, health tips | BlueRidgeNow.com
Ten-year-old Daniela Ayala was the first to notice it: not only did the two liquids share the exact same tint, their labels both prominently featured a lemon and lime. http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20130811/ARTICLES/130819985
The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder Gives Health Tips … – Wetpaint
What the what? We were cruising around the Internet this morning and came across an article on WebMD, of all places, featuring The Vampire Diaries' snarky… http://www.wetpaint.com/vampire-diaries/articles/2013-08-09-ian-somerhalder-gives-health-tips