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Do you purchase the school health insurance policy, or do you use your family policy for coverage? I have to call my insurer to see if dd will be covered at school, but I'm just trying to get an idea of how most people handle it.

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We use our health insurance coverage. Students are able to use the university health center either way.

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We were able to use our own; however, at my DD’s school it is depending on the amount of coverage and whether coverage is available in that area.

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We use our own and my son's school says most students use their own rather than buy it through the school. At his school, all students can use student health as they don't bill insurance at all, but the school requires all students to show proof of insurance or buy through the school.

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We use ours.  If you use yours, don't forget to waive theirs - it can save you a bunch of $ that is otherwise routinely added to your bill.  We have had to re-waive at the beginning of each school year.  There is a deadline, after which it cannot be waived even if you are covered elsewhere, so be on top of it.

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Thank you all for your input. Looks like most everyone uses their parents' insurance. I'm thinking the school insurance is for those that are maybe uninsured? Or do you think there are people whose insurance will not cover a student away at college?

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From what I've read so far, it looks like the college insurance will provide better coverage for less money than what we have now. But we do not have coverage through an employer or any discount, so our current insurance is expensive, with high deductibles and OOP maximums, no vision or dental, and no out of network coverage. The college insurance is the equivalent of a "Platinum" plan, with no deductible or copay for most services at OSU facilities, and a $2700 annual OOP maximum. Also covers mental health, vision, and dental, and a full year (on and off campus, in and out of network) is about $1500. As soon as DS is eligible, I will sign him up for that and take him off our current plan.

 

So I would suggest looking at the details of the college plan and comparing it to what you have now before deciding which makes more sense.

 

ETA: Also look to see if there is a supplement you can buy that provides free services at the student health center. For example, OSU has a supplement that costs $225/yr and provides free visits, labs, X-rays, and other services at the student health center, as well as cheap prescriptions ($10 copay for generics), which is supplemental to a regular insurance plan. So that could be a good option for a student who is staying on a family plan but who has a high deductible, or for whom the health center is out of network so only covered at 50%, or whatever.

Edited by Corraleno
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Do you purchase the school health insurance policy, or do you use your family policy for coverage? I have to call my insurer to see if dd will be covered at school, but I'm just trying to get an idea of how most people handle it.

 

I stayed on my mothers as an undergrad, but as a grad student I was well over the age limit. I thought the college insurance provided a great deal.

 

One thing that was really nice was that I knew I was covered to use the on-campus health center. Health care for the lazy. :D

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Oldest's college accepted our Health Share, so we went with that.

 

Middle son's college does not accept our Health Share, so we bought theirs.  It turned out to be pretty worthless because even when he had an issue with his ankle, it wasn't covered.  I thought it would be based upon "no deductible," etc, etc, but for whatever reason, it wasn't.  He did get a couple "free" vaccines and physicals there, but they're only free if you don't count the extra 2K or so we paid for the health insurance we didn't really need.

 

Youngest son's college didn't accept Health Share at first, so we bought theirs - again - having to still pay out of pocket for a leg injury that had some coverage, but not much.  However, a couple years ago when the NCAA said they'd allow Health Shares as acceptable health coverage so did the college so we were able to opt out.

 

Seeing how much was actually covered by health insurance when my two lads needed it... I wish we could have opted out for all entirely, but we did what we were required to do - line some folk's pockets.  Fortunately, we don't have to any longer.

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Thank you all for your input. Looks like most everyone uses their parents' insurance. I'm thinking the school insurance is for those that are maybe uninsured? Or do you think there are people whose insurance will not cover a student away at college?

 

The school has a definition of adequate coverage; if the student does not have such a plan, they won't be waived from the plan offered by the school.  I am not sure how Medicaid or CHIP is accepted; I know Medicaid was not considered sufficient at my son's U four years ago and SHIP is advertised as being more cost effective if from a state that hasn't expanded Medicaid.  My plan wasn't sufficient either, as the prescription coverage was written separately, so I had to submit that as well in the proof of coverage section to get the waiver.  Also, there must be enough providers that accept the insurance in the area of the school -- that's not the case for some plans.  

 

School insurance is also helpful for those who will be traveling, as it may cover the student while abroad, or traveling within the U.S. 

 

Be aware that the student health  center can't treat everything. It's not a minihospital, and its not open 24/7 (except for mental health crisis).  My friend's dc discovered cancer for ex. At my dc's schools, the ER is where stomachs are pumped.  My son caught a contagious skin infection..the SHC was swamped, so they directed him to go private, urgent care, or ER as it was bad enough that he needed to be seen quickly.  I did get my semester  SHC fee back a few times, as the SHC nurses will remove stiches, clean wounds and so forth and they do provide alcohol, sex ed, violence ed. , nutrition classes etc. 

 

You can use your search engine to find out what the SHC does on a public university campus.  

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We used our own and bought the supplemental policy offered by the university.  It didn't cost much more and provided very good coverage (our own insurance is pretty lousy).

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DD22 is covered under our health insurance policy.  It's a family policy that costs the same whether she is on it or not.  She can also go use the health center and that is usually free for students for basic stuff (ie urgent care level.) 

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From what I've read so far, it looks like the college insurance will provide better coverage for less money than what we have now. But we do not have coverage through an employer or any discount, so our current insurance is expensive, with high deductibles and OOP maximums, no vision or dental, and no out of network coverage. The college insurance is the equivalent of a "Platinum" plan, with no deductible or copay for most services at OSU facilities, and a $2700 annual OOP maximum. Also covers mental health, vision, and dental, and a full year (on and off campus, in and out of network) is about $1500. As soon as DS is eligible, I will sign him up for that and take him off our current plan.

 

So I would suggest looking at the details of the college plan and comparing it to what you have now before deciding which makes more sense.

...

 

When doing this analysis, make sure you understand what time period is covered (winter break? summer vacation? co-op or internship?), what area is covered (docs at home as well as at school?), what you have to do to maintain student status (12 credits per semester? a certain number of campus-based credits?), can you continue coverage after the policy terminates?.  I'd also inquire as to what happens if the student must drop out of their classes for health reasons - will the coverage be retained?  

 

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My kids' school didn't ask for specifics about our insurance or health share. We changed from insurance to health share while my oldest was in school. At one point, I looked at putting her on the plans offered by the school when our individual policy was declared non-compliant. She ended up studying abroad during that time, and health insurance and evacuation insurance was included in the fees. I changed to a health share plan that included all my kids for the same price.

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From what I've read so far, it looks like the college insurance will provide better coverage for less money than what we have now. But we do not have coverage through an employer or any discount, so our current insurance is expensive, with high deductibles and OOP maximums, no vision or dental, and no out of network coverage. The college insurance is the equivalent of a "Platinum" plan, with no deductible or copay for most services at OSU facilities, and a $2700 annual OOP maximum. Also covers mental health, vision, and dental, and a full year (on and off campus, in and out of network) is about $1500. As soon as DS is eligible, I will sign him up for that and take him off our current plan.

 

So I would suggest looking at the details of the college plan and comparing it to what you have now before deciding which makes more sense.

 

ETA: Also look to see if there is a supplement you can buy that provides free services at the student health center. For example, OSU has a supplement that costs $225/yr and provides free visits, labs, X-rays, and other services at the student health center, as well as cheap prescriptions ($10 copay for generics), which is supplemental to a regular insurance plan. So that could be a good option for a student who is staying on a family plan but who has a high deductible, or for whom the health center is out of network so only covered at 50%, or whatever.

The colleges I've looked at have much better insurance at less cost than the individual plan we have. Plus, no individual plan in our state has out of state coverage, and there is no coverage out of network. (Exception: if you are actually dying, they'll treat you.)

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We use ours.  If you use yours, don't forget to waive theirs - it can save you a bunch of $ that is otherwise routinely added to your bill.  We have had to re-waive at the beginning of each school year.  There is a deadline, after which it cannot be waived even if you are covered elsewhere, so be on top of it.

 

Yep, make sure you fill out the waiver information. Here is a sample waiver from University of Denver: https://www.du.edu/health-and-counseling-center/coveragecosts/waiver.html

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