Student Health Insurance at College

If your child is heading to college this fall will he or she be covered by your health insurance?

Unfortunately, it’s no longer a given that students will be protected by their parents’ health insurance policies. In fact, the federal government has estimated that roughly 20% of students don’t have college student health insurance.

Here’s one reason for the lack of coverage:  employers have been shrinking dependents’ benefits to cut their spiraling health care costs.

In the changing world of health care insurance, there is no guarantee that a college student who was covered this year will be covered in the fall.

If your child is in college, here are some questions to ask:

  • Does my medical insurance cover my college student?
  • If health care coverage depends on my child being a full-time student, how many credit hours must he or she take to qualify?
  • How is out-of-network care handled?

You can learn more about the health insurance and college students in this article in The New York Times.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution.

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  1. Students have many options available to them in Washington State. Washington state law provides that any students or dependents up to age 25 can remain on their parent’s health insurance plans. In addition, many individual plans are available to students for very low cost. Temporary student health insurance plans are also widely available and cover short term needs. However, student health insurance plans are not a substitute for permanent health insurance.