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Health Insurance for Students and Children

Health insurance coverage for children, as well as college students, is critical. Finding a health insurance plan that fits your needs and price range can be difficult, but with some guidance, is possible.


Children's Health Insurance

In 1997, Congress passed a plan entitled Title XXI, or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This program was created to help deal with the growing number of children in the U.S. that were living without health insurance. For many families, their annual income was too much to apply for Medicaid, but not nearly enough to afford a private policy. With state coverage, the family is charged no more than 5% of their gross annual income, with some receiving it at no cost to them at all.

What exactly this health insurance plan for children covers will vary a bit from state to state, but all states are required to cover at a minimum well-baby and well-child physicals, all required immunizations and any emergency services these children require.

If your child is already covered under a health insurance policy, whether it's your group insurance plan or any other insurance plan that you have, they will not be eligible for the state's coverage.

If you don't qualify for state coverage, before you apply for health insurance for your child, do a little research. It may be more cost effective to have a family policy with all your children covered than to have an individual policy on each one. Of course, if you have only one child, it may work the other way around.

Student Health Insurance

Although most universities have a health care clinic that the student can go to for routine physical ailments, like sore throats and such, to depend solely on this as your source of health care is not advisable. All students need to have some other type of health insurance plan that will cover unexpected medical problems like visits to the emergency room or surgeries.

There are several options available to students for health insurance coverage. The best possible choice is to have them covered on their parents' policy, even while away at school. Most family group health insurance plans will cover a child at school as long as they are actively enrolled. Check with your insurance agent to see what, if any, stipulations there are that need to be followed.

If you find that the student will need an individual health insurance policy, there are insurance companies out there that cater to this type of need. Don't just go with anybody, though. Do some research. Decide what coverage you will need and ask questions. You need to know what the maximum amount of coverage is and what your deductible will be. Find out what you won't be covered for as well as what you will. If you are going to school out of the country, make sure you don't need additional coverage for expenses that may come up while you are gone. Having proper student health insurance coverage will help make your college experience go much smoother.

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This information is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or financial advice from a qualified provider.