right arrow
Make sure to check out our July Checklists for HS Juniors and HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ehales3 is a rising sophomore at Cornell University. As a high school student, she always thought that she wanted to study in a more urban environment, but has grown to love Ithaca and all that it offers. ASK HER ANYTHING!
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

Health Insurance

TripletsMamiTripletsMami 18 replies9 threads Junior Member
Our triplets will go away for college to VT, MN and GA. I called our health insurance company and found some physicians within our network in or near the cities where they will be located, but for any out-of-network provider, there is a $1K deductible, and they would cover 80% of the expenses. College health insurance is over $2K at each of the schools where my kids will go. I would be interested in knowing how are you guys dealing with this issue, are most people just buying the school-sponsored insurance?
28 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: Health Insurance

  • doschicosdoschicos 26646 replies267 threads Senior Member
    What's your insurance company's policy on out of state emergency room visits?
    · Reply · Share
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24728 replies20 threads Senior Member
    You might check 5o see if your employer offers any plans that would be better OOS and switch at the next open enrollment time. Otherwise, I think what you have is going to be cheaper than buying 3 student plans. Does your current plan cover 100% at home? If not, it probably won't cost more.
    · Reply · Share
  • alooknacalooknac 1281 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Wow! How did you end up with 3 different colleges with such expensive insurance?!?! Not that you can do anything about that now.

    I researched the cost at each school where D was applying and most of them were just barely over $1k. A couple were around $1500 and only one was $2k+.

    D's final choice offers insurance for $1150; I haven't decided for sure whether to take it or not. My regular insurance has better OON coverage than yours, but it's always a bit of a wild card.

    With triplets, and insurance running $6k for you, I'd be inclined to say not to take it. Why pay $6k now to avoid $1k that's only a possibility?
    · Reply · Share
  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    @alooknac, one top public university I checked this year is $4000!! I'd stick with what you have for now, unless the college won't give you a waiver (most schools will make you prove that you have adequate insurance, or they bill you for theirs -- tell your kids to watch for emails on insurance waivers from the colleges this summer). Next time you sign up, see if you have a Blue Cross option that includes their national network -- that has worked well for us.
    · Reply · Share
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24728 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Alooknac, that insurance cost seems very low. I have two kids buying it and the cost was about $700/semester and more for the spring because coverage goes through Aug. (Two very different schools too). Low premium usually means a high deductible. I think the $2000 is about right for the premiums I've been seeing.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35377 replies399 threads Senior Member
    OP, is there a reason you anticipate needing off campus doctors? Our insurer considered all emergency visits to the nearby hospital as in-network.

    We did not pay for addl health insurance when we had a family policy and campus health services. Are there specific concerns for your triplets that they would need local docs/services for? And before their next trip home?
    · Reply · Share
  • kiddiekiddie 3835 replies239 threads Senior Member
    I just want to say you need to be prepared. What if your child ends up needing physical therapy for an injury - what will be the coverage difference for the various plans? I know this problem is tripled - but most likely you need to research the 3 plans and your own and the decision for each child might be different. $2,000 does not sound like a lot, you just didn't realize that you had a bargain before since having three kids on a family insurance plan costs the same as having just one! Also don't assume the campus health center will always be available or provide the quality of service you need. You may do better to up your current insurance (I think the college would be considered a qualifying event) to a plan with a lower deductible and better out of network options.
    · Reply · Share
  • alooknacalooknac 1281 replies16 threads Senior Member
    I went back & looked at my notes. The deductibles ranged from 0 to $350; most were $200. Not that that helps OP, just for others who may want to consider this expense proactively. These were all small rural LACs except for one in a city and that was the one over $2k. Also these were last year's figures.
    · Reply · Share
  • Asil65Asil65 223 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I was wondering what parents usually do for insurance coverage with college students too. I would think if the student is close enough to home and planned to come home at breaks and during the summer you could keep your family insurance and use it for emergency visits when your child is at college. When I was that age I was healthy and rarely went to the Doctor. I suppose if you have a child with a chronic condition that it might be wise to use the college plan.
    · Reply · Share
  • alooknacalooknac 1281 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Can someone tell me why it would be better to spend $2k now on an additional policy, rather than spending $1k to meet existing deductible, only if the need actually arises?

    OP has not mentioned any other important differences in coverage which might influence the decision.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 78262 replies3526 threads Senior Member
    Our kids were in undergrad ore-ACA so the health insurance landscape has changed.

    But...we had an Anthem PPO. It satisfied our colleges' requirements for insurance coverage, and provided local care in network.

    You need to get the details from your insurance company and see if it satisfies the college requirement, make sure it will cover things like emergency surgery (we had a kid who had that...fully covered).

    Your kiddos can continue to have annual physicals and the like when they come home.
    · Reply · Share
  • emilybeeemilybee 14762 replies37 threads Senior Member
    We kept our S on our insurance - our plan is the same cost regardless of size of family and his schools plan was approx $1500 iirc. No proferred providers from our plan where he went to school (OOS) but our plan is 80/20 with $1000 deductible for non participating providers. Emergency services are covered 100% regardless. S went to health services a few times but for nothing serious. When he was home on breaks he had his yearly dr. and dentist appts.
    · Reply · Share
  • happy1happy1 23972 replies2404 threads Super Moderator
    edited April 2016
    It worked out cheaper for us to drop the kids from our health plans and get them insured through their respective schools. I'm sure every situation is different though (and we have 2 kids, not 3) so work out the numbers and see what makes sense.
    edited April 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • bookreaderbookreader 1968 replies53 threads Senior Member
    This may be the new disincentive for looking at OOS unis. The additional expense of health insurance will come as a real surprise to many parents. Three of my kids stayed instate so that contributed to keeping college expenses down.
    I did look at the cost of school-provided medical insurance and was surprised at the cost and what it offered. Our
    youngest is at a Service Academy, so he has army-provided medical care now.
    · Reply · Share
  • tx5athometx5athome 4020 replies5 threads Senior Member
    For my two that went to UC's the school paid for the school offered as part of their financial aid (if we opted out we did not get the money). We have an HMO, so one option would be to change their primary provider to one near them during the school year and then change back to their regular primary during the summer. It doesn't cost me any extra to keep them on my plan, so during the school year they had the home plan (and could see doctor's during the summer or when home for breaks) and had the school plan at school in case of emergency.
    · Reply · Share
  • donnaleighgdonnaleighg 1548 replies33 threads Senior Member
    Blue Cross can be a good solution for out-of-state students and their families. It allowed us to opt out of our kids' school policies (both close to $2k). And both schools had health centers which covered basic things (stitches, flu shots) even if you waive the insurance.
    · Reply · Share
  • Asil65Asil65 223 replies3 threads Junior Member
    We have an Aetna PPO type plan that looks like it will cover most issues in the state where my son will be in college. I was wondering if the health insurance is an additional cost to the R&B and tuition fees? I had thought it was part of the bill and that you get credit back if it was not used. Still learning so much from you experienced parents. Thank you.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35377 replies399 threads Senior Member
    I wonder what OP asked her insurer- for in-net docs in those cities or did she explain these are college kids? But note she did say there are some network docs near each of the colleges.
    · Reply · Share
  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    Can someone tell me why it would be better to spend $2k now on an additional policy, rather than spending $1k to meet existing deductible, only if the need actually arises?

    Colleges are getting much stricter on whether they consider your insurance sufficient. You usually have to provide proof of your insurance, and if they think it is sufficient (actually the third party they engage), then you aren't charged for the school insurance.

    Regarding coverage for emergency rooms, my D1 has incurred the following that were NOT ER type visits. Remember that the student health service isn't open 24x7, nor is it open at all sometimes if your kid stays on campus for summer research or work. My kid has had a lot of summer stuff happen.
    - Urgent care visit in the summer for a cut
    - Return UC visit for follow up, and it was infected.
    - Yet another final UC visit for the same cut
    - Xray at UC for what turned out to be a broken arm
    - Visit with ortho doctor as follow up on broken arm (rest of care was at home, as it happened a week before she came home for part of the summer)

    Also, if your kid needs any kind of mental health treatment, the campus health service provides a limited amount, but they may need to go off campus for more. And again... none offered in the summer.

    Our BCBS plan has worked well in all these scenarios.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 78262 replies3526 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Some college policies are more costly now because they have to adhere to ACA requirements.

    When our kids were still students, and young enough to do,so...we kept them on our plan...but ours was a PPO that covered them in any state, with in network hospitals and providers. This was required by their schools.

    The OP needs to see if the family current plan meets the minimum requirements that the college has in terms of coverage.
    edited April 2016
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity