Monday, November 9, 2009

Health Care and Student Insurance

Health insurance is an absolute necessity for students, yet a surprising number of students, both studying medicine and other fields, rely on their university's student health care clinic rather than paying for insurance. In short, student health clinics are not that great, according to StudentDoc.com. They really don't provide the coverage you need while at school. Rates and benefits can vary widely across different insurance providers. You need to comparison shop for insurance - just like you would for anything else. Don't be shy about comparing insurance plans and companies - information is the key to proper coverage. All providers and insurers are bound to HIPAA regulations that cover your privacy, but make sure they also have good customer support, with easily located contact information and toll-free telephone numbers.

With any type of insurance, there are basic questions to ask. According to StudentDoc, here is a short list of questions especially for student insurance:
--What is the maximum I would be covered for?
--What is the deductible?
--How much will this cost - and how does the cost change with different deductibles?
--What am I not covered for (for example, some insurance plans don't cover varsity or even intramural sports injuries)?
--Are there restrictions on which physicians I can use?
--Do I need a referral to see a specialist?
--What if I get sick or hurt while I'm traveling?
--Do I need pre-approval from the insurance company before I can go see a health-care provider?
--Am I covered as a graduate student, or is the restricted to undergrads?
Does it provide for well-visits or healthy patient visits to a physician?

The congressional Government Accountability Office in 2006 reported 20 percent of college students nationwide lacked coverage, according to the MiamiHerald.com. Finding insurance coverage that will suit your exact needs isn t easy, so make sure to ask help from the ones who are more knowledgeable about it, like your parents. If you have friends who already have student coverage, then ask them about their plans so that you ll be able to compare them with what you already know, according to DirectoryM.com. As a student going through your scholarly life, you think you wouldn t need student insurance, don t you? Well, unless your family is already covered by group insurance, chances are you re going to need a policy as well, given the many accidents and untoward incidents you may face as a student (especially if your course requires a lot of field or machine work). In finding student insurance plans , try to begin with the one closest to you your parents. If you still can t find it through them, then you may inquire with your school about the coverage they may provide, or receive recommendations from them instead.

Here are some tips from DirectoryM.com if you are a student considering insurance, especially for the first time:
1.) Search your usual search engines. One of the widest resources of information is the Web, and there s no better place to start searching about student insurance plans than your everyday search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Simply input the keywords student health insurance plans in the search field, and you will be presented with all the possible places to acquire student coverage. Be careful, however, about bogus sites that turn up in the search engine, because they tend to swindle you of your money.
2.) Browse through the catalogs of insurance companies. If you live near downtown, then maybe you can walk around the block and enter the shops of different insurance companies and inquire about their catalogs. Most insurance companies carry student insurance as part of their services. The best thing about this method is that you get to ask around and consult the insurance companies about the details of the coverage.
3.) Ask an insurance agent. Insurance agents may not be the easiest people on earth, but they can very well assist you in your search for student insurance. The good thing about insurance agents is they cannot only answer your questions; they can also assist you with processing your papers as well.
4.) Consult your school guidance officer or administrator. Your school guidance officer or administrator is the one who usually communicates with other companies for student-related concerns that do not involve the academy. Go to your administrator's office and see if he has brochures and leaflets regarding student insurance, medical insurance and life insurance offerings by reputable companies.
5.) Ask your parents if their coverage can be supplemented. Most health insurance coverage provided by employers can be supplemented or extended to cover the employee's children as well. Ask about your parents' coverage to see if it can be extended to you. If not, then you might get student coverage from the same company as theirs instead.

According to HowToDoThings.com, a college student may need a variety of insurance. Always keep in mind when selecting the perfect insurance use good judgment and sensibility. Make sure that you read the terms and conditions so you know what you're covered for, and how long the coverage lasts. Another approach is to check with your school and see if they offer insurance policies for current students. This way you won't be duplicating insurance. If you are going out of the country, you may deem travel indemnity insurance particularly if you travel over long distances to your university, or if you are setting up to take part in study-abroad programs. Travel accidents and medical costs that occur during your travel should be covered by this insurance. Make sure to read and look up all the terms and benefits provided by competing insurance providers. When you select insurance you need good common sense, as well as wise decision making skills. Think about whether your college years will be a greater risk for you and what are the best insurance plans that students need.

There are several insurance areas you should consider as a student, according to HowToDoThings.com. Here are a few:
--Health Insurance:
You might be in year late teens or early twenties and pursuing a plan for your life, but you are not indestructible. Without health insurance, you may not be adequately prepared if a medical emergency happens. Medical treatment can be very expensive. Making sure you have health insurance can provide you with peace of mind in knowing that you likely won't have to pay huge medical bills in the event of a serious illness or accident. If you are a full time student, the majority of insurance companies will allow to you remain on your parent's plan. Talk to your parents' insurance agent to clear this up. You should think of getting dental insurance, as well as health insurance.
--Car/Vehicle Insurance:
Since you will probably be using your car or a bike a great deal while you are in college, it is a good idea to have them insured. In addition, some countries, including the United States, actually require drivers to purchase vehicle insurance. Student possessions insurance can also include bicycles. When it comes to an automobile you may choose to be on your parents' policy or purchase your own. Know that car insurance companies may quote students at higher premiums because students are more likely to crash. Having insurance early on would enable you to build up your No Claims bonus and therefore assure you of lower premiums later on. Other insurance discounts are available, including a "good student" reduction if the insurer has high grades at a university.
--Insurance for Student Property:
Student dormitories and apartments are inviting places for home invaders. This is the reason that having student possessions insurance is so critical while you are at college. Consider problems that are caused by theft, water, and fire, so look for the proper policy. To determine how much insurance you need, make a list of your belongings and their total value. Your insurance policy should allow you to replace your possessions if an unpredictable bad event happens. In addition, you might think about insuring your valuables (i.e. your laptop), since most insurance companies set maximum limits on basic coverage.

Purchasing any type of insurance product can be an almost overwhelming task, and most students are clueless when it comes to finding coverage. Many students are included on their parents plans, but many more are not and are left to their own devices to find help. Seek professional advice from counselors who can assist your search, and then purchase products that are affordable and make the most sense for your situation. Remember, you can always change policies if the one you buy does not fit your needs.

Until next time. Let me know what you think.

2 comments:

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