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Health Insurance

TripletsMamiTripletsMami Registered User Posts: 27 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?

Replies to: Health Insurance

  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,395 Senior Member
    What's your insurance company's policy on out of state emergency room visits?
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,859 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.
  • alooknacalooknac Registered User Posts: 1,296 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?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,890 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.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,859 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.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 32,415 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?
  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 3,453 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.
  • alooknacalooknac Registered User Posts: 1,296 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.
  • Asil65Asil65 Registered User Posts: 226 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.
  • alooknacalooknac Registered User Posts: 1,296 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.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,097 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.
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 13,140 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.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,534 Forum Champion
    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.
  • bookreaderbookreader Registered User Posts: 2,006 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.
  • tx5athometx5athome Registered User Posts: 3,836 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.
This discussion has been closed.