Having health insurance is a must for any college student that is going away to school. There are a number of options available for college students depending on individual circumstances, including student plans, subsidized coverage, or remaining on their parents’ health plan.

College Students Can Remain on their Parents’ Health Plan

Under the current health insurance rules, children can be added to or kept on their parents’ insurance policy until they turn 26, and this applies to both job-based and individual plans. This even includes students who are:

  • married;
  • not being claimed as a dependent on the parents’ tax forms; or
  • eligible to enroll for insurance under their employer’s plan.

If the student remains on the parents’ insurance, there are a number of things to consider:

Where You Live: There may or may not be physicians that are in-network, which could become more expensive over time. It’s best to find out if the insurance company will actually cover the student if they are going away to another state. Additionally, it’s best to inquire how emergency claims will be reimbursed if needed. It’s always good to conduct preventative care services during the times when the student will be at home.

Cost: The cost of having a plan with your dependent child (a Family Plan) on it may cost more than an individual only plan. Researching the differences may work in your favor when comparing costs.

Additional Health Insurance Options for College Students

Although remaining on a parent-paid health insurance plan is a viable solution in most cases, there are a few other ways to acquire health insurance at affordable prices:

  • Student Plans: Student plans are specifically designed to meet the needs of students. These premiums are usually administered along with tuition and other expenses, so if a student is receiving a loan, it will be covered through the financial aid. These plans are helpful but may have limited coverage.
  • Subsidized coverage under the Affordable Care Act: By going through a Public or Private Exchange, your student may be eligible to enroll in an individual plan that is more cost effective and based on household income, they may qualify for a subsidy.

These are the essentials that can help you determine whether or not it would be more beneficial for a college student to remain on their parents’ policy or acquire one of their own. Knowing the differences can help reduce out-of-pocket costs throughout the course of a student’s college career.

Parent and students can visit the AMSA Health Insurance Marketplace to review their current health insurance policy, shop for new policies and to check if the student is eligible for a subsidy.