While this is a cost you don't want to skimp out on, there are several ways to find affordable health insurance that meets your needs.
- Health insurance is a means of lowering financial risks to you. In case of an expensive emergency, you'll be glad you have it.
- Health insurance is now mandatory under the Affordable Care Act.
- There are several options for you to get health insurance, including staying on your parents' plan, finding your own private insurance, purchasing a government health insurance plan, or purchasing a BYU student health plan (if you qualify for exemption under the ACA).
Health insurance is an extremely important investment for you in every stage of your life, whether or not you get sick often. There are several reasons as to why you need health insurance NOW:
- It can prevent a financial debacle in case of a sudden illness or accident.
- All BYU students are required to have health insurance.
- You can receive checkups to help you stay healthy with many health insurance plans.
- If you have a family, it is absolutely vital that you have health insurance so that you, your spouse, and your children are taken care of, especially in case of emergency.
- It can be very difficult to receive normal treatment now if you offer to simply pay out of pocket; many health practicioners now require that you have insurance for treatment.
- The Affordable Care Act now requires that every U.S. citizen has health insurance, with a few suggestions. Please visit healthcare.gov for more details.
So what are your options for a health plan as a student?
Each of the following suggestions are merely to guide you in your search for health insurance. This is not a comprehensive list of all your options, and some choices might not be right for you.
- Stay on your parents' health insurance plan. With your parents' consent, you can receive coverage on their policy up to the age of 26. However, this is not always recommendable for every family's circumstances.
- Find your own private health insurance. This can be very helpful if you're looking for a specific coverage or have special health needs and are no longer able to stay on your parents' insurance. However, it can be difficult to find affordable private insurance that will give you the coverage you need.
- Purchase a government health insurance plan. The Affordable Care Act now provides options for health coverage. Some of these options may be more affordable than private insurance plans; however, you might not find the coverage you need for the price.
- Purchase a BYU student health plan. See below, under "Maternity Health Insurance" and visit health.byu.edu for more details.
Maternity Health Insurance
The BYU Student Health Center will generally recommend that the students put at least one spouse (generally the mother) on the BYU Student Health Plan. They would generally put the spouse on the family plan so that the child is also covered. The students can still stay on their parents' health insurance, but at least one has to be on the BYU plan before they can add the baby. Here are the reasons as to why they do this:
- The baby is not covered by the students' parents' health insurance, seeing as the baby belongs to a different generation.
- The BYU Student Health Center has years of experience working with women's health concerns (particularly with maternity procedures).
- The majority of health insurance plans that most students can afford have such poor coverage and such high deductibles that the health insurance is worth very little.
- The BYU Student Health Plan will keep its integrity with the coverage it provides.
- The BYU Student Health Plan requires low co-pays and no deductibles.
While the BYU Student Health Plan does not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, if you are below the poverty line, as many full-time university students find themselves, you can be on the BYU health plan and may not have to pay the fine for not meeting the Minimum Essential Coverage requirements on your taxes. Click here to learn more about the exemptions that may apply to you under the Affordable Care Act, and click here to learn more about certain income cut-offs that may apply to you to receive this exemption.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a comprehensive answer for all families, seeing as each family is in a unique situation. This information is simply to serve as guidance to help jump-start your own research. Please consult with a financial professional or contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.