health insurance

Any suggestions for an affordable independent health insurance plan for out of state student at MU? father is retired so student needs their own health insurance plan. Thank you.

I just has a family friend go through this. You’ll likely need to look at insurance exchanges as many universities dropped student insurance because the affordable care act extended insurance coverage to age 26. Your circumstances are unique so you’ll want to be sure that your father’s employer plan does not still cover you (some do if the plan mixes retirees and current employees); you’re also likely eligible for COBRA depending on when your father retired, but those costs may be excessive. The exchanges may have some basic plans that you can use. This may help https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace-in-your-state/

Check first to see if the university offers a plan for students. If not, visit the state exchange — but here is the rub. As an undergrad, your student may or may not be considered a resident of their college state if it is not the same as their home state. One advantage of buying through the exchange vs straight from the insurance company is that they seem to ask for less residency proof on the exchange.

We always purchased in my home stare (kid was at college OOS). We bought Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans that included the national network. (However. some Blues have stopped offering their national network for plans sold to individuals in the past couple of years, so this may or may not be an option). You need a plan with decent coverage at college — ideally you want coverage at college and when they are home on breaks.l, so look for that.

If you plan to purchase in a different state from your own (where the college is), your kid will want to take steps to establish residency there even if a college won’t recognize it for tuition purposes. It could be challenging, because you need proof of residency before they’ll commit to selling you the policy. And he can’t get that until moving there (drivers license, etc).

Another thing that happens is the companies change plans pretty much every year. We had to re-enroll in a new plan, and sometimes with a new company every year. And I moved to a new state halfway through her college — that was a huge hassle, too. It is worse than car shopping! Luckily my kid got a grad school offer that included health insurance, so we are finally off that merry go round.

Nothing will make you wish for health care reform more than shopping on the open market for a few years with a kid at an OOS college. It is nuts.