Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Health Insurance: Requirement for College Enrollment

By: Tsu-Han (Ina) Chang

At Syracuse University, full-time students are required to pay a health fee regardless of whether or not the student already has health insurance. However, this does not mean that students should go ahead and cancel their preexisting policy. The assumption that the university’s or any universities’ across the country provide health services that are comparable to that of common health care insurance is false. The two are drastically different. Take for example the services offered by the health fee at SU, some of which include office visits, ambulance services, counseling center services, nutrition counseling, etc., but these are just very minor overages. Therefore, it is recommended for students to continue to have outside health care insurance in the case they need to go to a local hospital for more intensive treatments. Although insurance is costly, students can look for coverage under the same plan as his/her family. Typically this will save the student more money than if he/she were to look for independent/individual coverage. It is important to consider this options as student under the age of 23 can benefit from the savings under family health care insurance plans.

However, for those who are looking for coverage as an independent, here are some things to consider:
1. If you're covered on a parent's policy, try to continue this coverage if possible.
2. Seek coverage through your employer.
3. Find out if your college or university offers a more comprehensive student health plan. Colleges maybe be able to offer plans at a cheaper rate due to student status.
4. Locate other group coverage.
5. Determine whether you qualify for Medicaid.
6. Buy an individual policy from a private carrier.
7. Apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Risk Pool offered by your state.
8. Find low-cost health services in your area.


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