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Health insurance for college students? Consumer Q&A

By on November 30th, 2012
Filed: Advice, College Students, Health Insurance, You, Young Adults

I used to hate asking questions. I didn’t ask many questions in school because I didn’t want to annoy my teachers and I was afraid of looking dumb. Finally I realized that not knowing something is worse than looking dumb and that most people don’t really mind answering questions.

The whole idea of the “Insurance” page on Yahoo Answers is to get your health insurance questions answered. So, people don’t usually hold back. Sometimes they post really complicated questions, sometimes lots of them all at once.

We recently took a question from a young college student who wanted to understand her health insurance options . But she had other questions too, like:

Can I qualify for health insurance under someone else’s plan if my parents are out of the picture? Does dental and vision insurance come with health insurance? Can I get health insurance through an employer if I’m only employed part-time?

Great questions! The eHealthInsurance reply was voted Best Answer:

Let’s answer a few of your simpler questions first:

No, you won’t qualify under anyone else’s health insurance plan unless you get married and your spouse has insurance.

Dental insurance and vision insurance are usually purchased separately from health insurance.

You can get health insurance through an employer even as a part-time worker, but only if the company offers health insurance to part-time workers. It’s really about your company’s policy, so ask your HR department or benefits administrator about it.

Now, assuming you don’t have access to employer-sponsored health insurance, you still have a couple options. First, your school may have a student health insurance plan. Just be aware that some school-sponsored plans will limit you to on-campus doctors, and some may put a cap on the total amount of coverage you can use in a given year.

As an alternative, you could also look into buying health insurance on your own in the open market. Work with a licensed health insurance agent online or in your area to learn more. It doesn’t cost anything extra to work with an agent and it can give you a broader view of what’s available.

Lastly, if you want to learn more about your options and get some good shopping tips, check out the health insurance buyer’s guide we published just for students. It’s available for free online.

Best wishes.

Image by Flickr user DorkyMum

About Douglas Dalrymple

Doug Dalrymple is a member of the communications team at eHealth, Inc. and has worked in the health insurance and technology industries for fifteen years. He works on communications strategy, content creation and management, project management, and corporate messaging.

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