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Has anyone enrolled their student in an Affordable Care Act plan to opt out of campus insurance?

momsquadmomsquad Registered User Posts: 1,148 Senior Member
UCSB is now charging almost $2600 annually for student health insurance. Previously a student could opt out of the plan if they were covered under a parent's plan and could access care within 50 miles. Now they've reduced the distance to 30 miles, even though other campus' have much larger minimums (UCD 175 miles, UCLA 100 miles).

We're going to check the cost using Covered California, the ACA plan for California, but I'm not sure how it works for students. Do they apply using their own income, or does the parent income need to be included if they are a dependent? I think there was a thread on this topic last year, but thought I would float it again in light of the new health insurance options.

Replies to: Has anyone enrolled their student in an Affordable Care Act plan to opt out of campus insurance?

  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,522 Senior Member
    A dependent student can buy on the exchange but is not eligible for subsidies-- so you might just save yourself some trouble and buy directly from the insurance company.

    Here's a link for the shop & compare tool for Covered California:
    https://www.coveredca.com/shopandcompare/

    Santa Barbara is region 12. Only two choices, Anthem and Blue Shield, both PPO's. BS policies are the same both on and off exchange, but Anthem might have some slightly different options to offer. You are looking at roughly $125/month for bronze, $160 for silver, about $200 for gold. UCSB seems to be charging you the equivalent of a platinum level policy -- so you might want to see whether the benefits match the cost. (But I can only approximate the costs -- I didn't know old you son is, so I just ran figures for age 20).
  • momsquadmomsquad Registered User Posts: 1,148 Senior Member
    Thank you calmom, I had assumed the policies would be cheaper through Covered CA. It will be much easier to deal directly with the insurer.
  • FlossyFlossy Registered User Posts: 3,121 Senior Member
    Easiest and cheapest of all might just be to go with the school policy. Be sure to check on co-pays, deductibles, and access to providers, too. It's all gone up so I'm not at all surprised the UC policy has gone up, as well.
  • jbsmomjbsmom Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    We just got the information for UDel's insurance waiver. It must be ACA compliant with a deductible of no more than $ 500 OR the student must be financially able to meet the plan's deductible. It doesn't say how they will determine this. The benefits must be for emergency and NON emergency situations, but no mileage restrictions even though home is only 40 miles away. Our group plan is non compliant, but 9 days after he starts we get a new plan. I refuse to pay for a semester's worth for 9 days.

    OP $ 2600 is pricey, UDel is only $ 1115.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,522 Senior Member
    @momsquad‌ - actually, there is a technical wrinkle on cost. If you buy a Blue Shield policy, it's the same premium on or off exchange, given the lack of eligibility for subsidies. If you buy from Anthem, and you also choose one of the policies available on-exchange, it's very slightly more off-exchange because Anthem makes adults pay a premium for children's dental coverage they are not actually getting. But Anthem also offers more choices off-exchange - polices that are structured in slightly different ways -- so there could be an off-exchange policy that is less than the on-exchange, even with the dental surcharge.

    I'm not sure that he qualifies for purchasing outside the open enrollment period--so you might not be able to get him on the ACA plan until January (winter quarter). But it's possible that you could buy a short-term policy to cover the gap - so that is something else you can explore.
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 Registered User Posts: 4,168 Senior Member
    We are trying to figure this out. DD ages out of our plan and needs to either pay the university fee or have another plan. We're trying to figure out if she would qualify for medicaid or a subsidy since her loans do not count as income and she has been independent for a while. Since she is aging out in Oct she would qualify for outside the open enrollment period.
  • GoldenpoochGoldenpooch Registered User Posts: 2,362 Senior Member
    I live in Santa Barbara. Buy the Anthem policy; the network is much better than Blue Shield. Trust me, you don't want Blue Shield, very few doctors accept it.
  • momsquadmomsquad Registered User Posts: 1,148 Senior Member
    The Blue Cross/Blue Shield rep said my daughter would not be eligible to enroll prior to open enrollment because our family Kaiser HMO coverage is adequate. Even though the nearest hospital is 35 miles away, Kaiser would cover local treatment for emergencies. So it's good enough for the Feds but doesn't satisfy the school requirement. We'd have to wait until November to enroll for next year. I have a feeling this is a battle we won't pursue and we'll just go with the "platinum" coverage school plan. She'll essentially have triple insurance, since the student health center also provides low cost care irrespective of individual insurance plan.

    The LA Times just had an article highlighting the headaches of going through Covered California for coverage. Both Anthem and Blue Shield have been accused of providing inaccurate provider lists. Apparently in some areas they restrict the number of options for the Covered CA clients in order to offer a lower premium.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-obamacare-doctor-networks-20140629-story.html#page=1
  • GoldenpoochGoldenpooch Registered User Posts: 2,362 Senior Member
    Yes, both Anthem (Blue Cross) and Blue Shield restrict the number of doctors, hospitals and drugs that are covered in the individual market. In the Santa Barbara region, however, the Blue Shield network is far worse than Anthem. The largest outpatient clinic in Santa Barbara, Sansum, does not accept Blue Shield subscribers. Many specialists and primary doctors are not in the Blue Shield network. Also, very few of the really good hospitals in LA take Blue Shield policyholders. Although Anthem is not all that great, it is superior to Blue Shield. So if she decides to enroll in an Obamacare plan next year, I would go with Anthem even it it costs a little more.
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