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Medical Insurance for Graduate Student

artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,606 Senior Member
edited November 2017 in Parents Forum
I am a CA resident. My D is in her 3rd year med school in CA and she will be turning to 25 in March 2018, at that time she will lose her medical insurance coverage from our company plan as a dependent. I am searching for her coverage right now, hoping it is not too late.
Under Obamacare, we can purchase insurance premiums costing from $250-$650/mon. There is also an option for her to go on medical(Social Security) as she does not have income. In little more than one year from her birthday in 2018, she will be able to start her residency and thus will not need to pay for insurance. Few questions:

1. If we go with the medical route, when should we start the application process? What kind of insurance will medical offer? Is it worthwhile to apply for it for such a short period.
2. What have you or your kids bought for your kids in graduate school? Does it warrant to buy a high level insurance? D is a healthy lady, no smoking and without any chronic illness.
3. Does your graduate school offer group student insurance(SHIP)? How do you feel about them?
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Replies to: Medical Insurance for Graduate Student

  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 11,247 Senior Member
    Are you sure she isn't covered until 26?
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,606 Senior Member
    sorry, she will be 26 in 2018, born 1992.
  • surfcitysurfcity Registered User Posts: 2,534 Senior Member
    My sons graduate school offers excellent medical coverage and it's very accessible at the medical school associated with his school. Does your Ds med school offer any type of insurance?
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,608 Senior Member
    My daughter has a SHIP from her grad school. However she does have a costly chronic illlnrss and needed a secondary insurance to help with costs not covered by the SHIP. Her income is low so she qualifies for Medicaid. This is NOT social security! Anyway in California it is called MediCal. It takes awhile to get coverage after applying so be aware.
  • Bromfield2Bromfield2 Registered User Posts: 3,527 Senior Member
    Does the medical school your daughter attends offer student health insurance? That would probably be the best way for her to get covered. My daughter and son-in-law are covered by a plan for graduate teaching assistants at his university.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,476 Forum Champion
    My D's medical insurance is through her grad school. I'd have her explore that option.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,665 Senior Member
    the other option is COBRA, on your current plan. It may be pricy, but just throwing it out there.

  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,608 Senior Member
    By the way when you write "Medical" and associate it with social security, you may be referring to Medicare, which is for people over 65. Medicaid is for people whose incomes are low. Many grad students qualify for Medicaid in terms of income. However, you need to check with your state Medicaid office because sometimes they are required to first use their student policy (or one offered by work) and use Medicaid as a secondary policy. Many grad schools provide a free SHIP to grad students but if your daughter's school charges for it, then it is conceivable she could just get Medicaid.

    MedCal has offices where she can get financial counseling and help in signing up. Check the website.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,029 Senior Member
    My kiddo’s profession school does not offer medical insurance to students...at all. This kid has no income, and is in a state that did not expand Medicare.

    She purchased a policy full pay...about $375 a month. No choice. She needs insurance.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,608 Senior Member
    thumper it is Medicaid not Medicare. If the kid has no income, then he or she would qualify for Medicaid regardless of expansion or no expansion. Tell your kid to go to a hospital financial counseling office or Medicaid enrollment office and get assistance.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,606 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    Yes, I meant Medi-Cal, an equivalent of Medicaid. The county Medi-Cal office happens to be in Social Security Service office. There are other offices.

    http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/Pages/CountyOffices3.aspx

    Does any one have experiences with Medi-Cal/Medicaid application for low incomes process?
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,894 Senior Member
    We're facing a similar situation when my daughter starts grad school next fall. Our current plan, which covers doctors in our state and in the state where she will attend grad school, just became outrageously expensive, so we're switching to one that covers docs only in our state. She will have to go on the university plan when she moves back to MA. In the meantime, we're going to pay out of pocket for any checkups she needs in MA (all her docs are there because she also went to undergrad there), because that is way cheaper than paying the 40% extra our current insurer wants us to pay!
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,890 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    There should be an opportunity to sign up when she ages out of her insurance and I'm sure you/she will get notices from your insurance company. I have a COBRA from my H's retiree's insurance that gave me 36 months after he aged into Medicare but I will have 2 months after it expires before I age into Medicare. I'll figure out 2 months of coverage because for now continuing with current insurance is so much cheaper than Marketplace options.

    Short answer- keep her current insurance for now, assuming it is cheaper/better coverage. She will be able to change when she has the life event. Start the search now of course but the Dec 15th deadline does not apply for changing.

    Physician here and found out years ago that the AMA does not offer any group policies (would have joined it for that). Obamacare is wonderful. Insurance companies could deny coverage for every well managed thing- my discussion with an AMA lady included finding out a person was uninsurable until 8 years after a melanoma diagnosis (cut and cured) or for diet controlled diabetes. Now I have many little things (more as I age) that cost the insurance company far less than I pay in group premiums (those free/$10/coupons generics make a HUGE difference).

    PS- pharmacies give free to the patient (or add a gift card) for flu shots and pneumonia vaccines without a prescription. There are two different ones that are each a one time only vaccine, Pneumovax and Prevnar 13. Info for the parents...
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,608 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    A student with no income can do the school insurance plus Medicaid if expenses are high. In some states, your kid may be able to do Medicaid and waive the school insurance. It also may depend on whether a kid has a disability or not.

    My kid did the application for Medi-Cal. Thank heavens she went to an enrollment office (some are at insurance companies, some at community centers etc.). Months went by. The person at the enrollment office got in touch with her and told her that Medi-cl had lost her application. The person at the office really did some handholding, telling her exactly what documents still needed, and advocated with direct calls to Medi-Cal.

    Even with school SHIP my kid's medical expenses are high, so we are grateful she finally got on. After graduation from college, she went onto Medicaid in Massachusetts which was great. Medicaid in MA covers you when you apply, while it is pending that is.

    Once over 18 Medicaid considers our kids to be adults and their own household so it is based on their income, at least in my experience.
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