Monday, December 13, 2010



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Universities usually offer students some type special health insurance benefits that are slightly less expensive and more appropriate for a young, healthy student’s needs than more expensive commercial insurance plans. Many student work while in school and also may be able to get insurance though their employer for a reduced group rate that will cover more for their money. But for the student who does not work or live at home, insurance options can be tough. If the student has no qualifying dependents, they may not be able to qualify for public assisted health benefits. They would have to rely on the school’s health plan or go to a local clinic that pro-rates the cost of care. If you are an international student, you must have complete medical coverage before attending the college of your choice.

The student benefits cover basic health insurance for all students enrolled in 11.5 credit hours per semester automatically. If you have less than 11.5, you will have to purchase the plan for a small fee. Graduate students and teaching assistants get a different type or health insurance package from the school. They have the option of having their health care benefits through an HMO or through a comprehensive type group such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield. With the HMO plan you will pay a monthly fee from your paycheck or a yearly cost that will part of your tuition. That will allow you to receive care at a low fee co-pay option. It also gives you the ability to have extra coverage in case of emergencies or referral to specialists. With the comprehensive plan, you will go to a pre-approved doctor, pay him or her, and then submit your bill or receipt of payment to the insurance company for reimbursement. You will need to take to your particular school to see what benefits are available, who is eligible, and at what cost.

All eligible students are covered by the basic student plan, but many are still either on their parent’s policy, have work related insurance, or are on a spouses plan. The basic plan is additional coverage beyond any other insurance you have. This means that if you have other health insurance coverage you submit medical bills to those companies first for payment. The Student Health Service strongly recommends having additional insurance in the event of a major illness or injury. The basic coverage doesn’t cover emergency or hospital treatments, nor does it allow you to see any doctor off campus in most cases. Students having basic insurance are entitled to receive their health care at the student health centers on campus only. So any other medical need will come out of the students pocket. The coverage of a student health plan begins on the first day of the semester you are enrolled and ends the day the semester closes. During school and semester breaks, with the exception of scheduled school vacations, you will not be covered until the next semester begins. Depending on your individual school, the dates can vary.

The maximum benefit coverage for the basic student health plan is for expenses incurred due to injury as long as treatment was received with in 90 days up to 00 per injury. The maximum benefit coverage for sickness is ,000, provided that treatment is received within 12 months from the date of the first treatment for the sickness. If you need to go to the hospital most basic plans will cover up to 00 for your treatment and stay. Anything accrued above and beyond, including out patient treatments after discharge will be your sole responsibility. The maximum per illness or injury is 00 no matter what type of treatment and how long you need it for. This is why it is very much recommended to have some alternative form of insurance such as short-term if a regular policy is too expensive. Most universities also offer two major medical plans for student who would like more coverage than the basic plan in case of serious illness or injury that exceeds the 00 cap. You can choose between a ,000 or 0,000 maximum benefit for a cost that will be included in your tuition each year. Once you have exceeded the 00 cap you will be responsible for a deductible of some kind, usually 0-0. After that the major health plan will pick up 80% of the medical bills till the cap is met or you are done treatment, which ever happens first.

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