Health Insurance

Medical insurance is as crucial for college students as it is for people in the work force. Health is actually the leading cause of college dropouts nationwide. Without insurance coverage, medical bills can be devastating.

Why do I need health insurance now?

Young adults are more likely than any other age group to visit the emergency room. Health insurance can protect you from the expense of any uninsured hospital stay and the potential for bankruptcy or a financial crisis.

What are the implications of the Affordable Care Act?

The ACA increases access to affordable healthcare for many. The Act allows financial aid for qualified individuals to help them buy their own insurance. Other changes include:

  • Protection from rate increases
  • Protection from canceled insurance
  • More coverage for preventative care (e.g. checkups)
  • No lifetime caps on benefits

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Insurance Vocabulary

  • Premium: The periodic payment required to keep an insurance policy in effect. A plan with a lower premium usually comes attached to a higher deductible, and vice versa.
  • Deductible: The portion that you pay before insurance coverage begins. Keep in mind that your monthly premium and co-payments often don’t count toward your deductible.
  • Co-insurance: The percentage you pay when your health plan doesn’t cover 100 percent of medical costs. You’ll also see co-insurance described as percentage participation, which applies after your specified deductible is met.
  • Co-payment (co-pay): Your share of a specific healthcare bill charged at the time of service. If you anticipate frequent doctor visits, choose a plan with an affordable, consistent co-payment.
  • HMOs: Short for Health Maintenance Organizations. These are organizations that provide or arrange care for insured individuals and groups.
  • PPOs: Short for Preferred Provider Organizations. PPOs are managed care networks of doctors, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers that have contracted with insurance providers to provide care at reduced cost.