People tend not to think about the insurance implications when their kids go off to college.

Your student may be going out of state, or to the other side of the state (which matters in such a large state as Texas!), and their coverage may be affected.

  • If you have coverage for your student at home, often, they will only be covered out of state for emergencies.
    • This is because, for plans like Marketplace, for example, the coverage is dependent on zip code, and if the student moves far away, that changes coverage and in-network options and status.
    • That implies a true emergency, not accessing the ER on the weekend for something like a sinus infection.
  • Many schools require insurance coverage.
    • What I have seen happen is schools accept your insurance for your student, not realizing that they will not be covered for non-emergency incidences.
  • Schools also often allow students to access basic medical care at the Student Center, and usually, the basic, routine things are covered under tuition.
    • There may be co-pays and there may be a situation that you need to file to insurance for reimbursement.

So what is the best solution?

We have some options to make sure that your student is covered with good insurance.

  • If your student is very healthy and doesn’t require medications etc.,:
    • We could leave them on the existing plan, knowing they will have emergency coverage for an emergency.
  • If your student has conditions that are being treated:
    • I would advise you to buy a separate policy for them.
    • On Marketplace, this could affect your subsidy, if you get one.
    • You may also opt for some of the private PPOs that might meet the school requirements.
    • Another option is for your student to return home to have their care done and get their prescriptions filled here, or a parent can get their prescriptions filled and send them to them, and then they could stay on your plan.

Remember, the take-home message today, is to not presume that your student’s coverage will be exactly as it is now if they move away for college, and to consider the options so that you can plan accordingly. If you need help planning please feel free to reach out to me.

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Austin, Texas

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