There is more to paying for college than just tuition, books and related fees. Whether you are sending your child off to college or you are an independent college student paying your own expenses, certain types of insurance are imperative.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, children can stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26. Parents must check with their insurance provider to determine if their college-bound child will still be covered when the child attends college far from home. The insurance company may consider the child’s new college home “out-of-network.” Assuming that an insurance plan covers family members no matter where they live can result in a costly shock if the student needs regular medical care or needs to see a specialist.
According to the C. Walter Searle Insurance Agency in New Jersey, most insurance policies only cover emergency medical treatment when a health care provider is out-of-network. So there will likely be higher deductibles and co-payments for seeing medical providers not in the network. Dave Evans, senior vice president of Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America in Alexandria, Va., recommends reviewing your health care plan during open enrollment season, according to Bankrate. Seek out a health care plan during open enrollment that is flexible on obtaining medical care from out-of-network providers.
Independent college students likely have the option to buy student health insurance. Kiplinger explains that while some student health care plans only provide basic coverage and treatment at a nearby affiliated hospital, other student health care plans are “more robust than in the past,” no longer setting annual and lifetime maximums. For healthy college students who think they are invincible and who fail to obtain health care coverage, medical-related costs due to an accident or illness can quickly mount into thousands of dollars of debt.
Car insurance premiums can go up or down for college students. Students who are driving for the first time or attending college far from home may pay higher premiums. You can have lower premiums if you do not take a car with you when you leave home to go to college. College students with a good driving record or good grades can reap benefits of lower car insurance premiums. Parents who have their college-bound students on their car insurance policy and students who have their own car insurance and are going away to college should contact the car insurance company to determine if their policy will change.
Insurance for students stuff
Ask a college student what needs insured and the response will likely be their “stuff.” Renter’s insurance is needed to protect all that “stuff.” Belongings may still be covered by the parent’s homeowner’s insurance policy if the student is living on-campus. If you are a student and you move to your own off-campus housing, you need to purchase your own renter’s insurance. Spencer Houldin, independent agent in Washington Depot, Conn. says that a basic renter’s insurance policy that averages $125-$150 annually will provide $15,000 property coverage and $500,000 liability coverage. If you live off-campus and have roommates, each of those roommates must each have their own renter’s insurance policy.