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Health Insurance Options

Originally published on

Health insurance for college women is available from several sources - some of which may be unexpected. With recent changes to health care due to the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare", some people may be confused as to where to go to get insurance coverage. Here is an explanation of different types of coverage, and where they come from.

Parental Coverage

If you have been covered by your parent's health insurance your whole life, you are probably still covered. As long as you are in college, you are considered a "dependent" of sorts, so your parent's insurance should cover you. The ACA has extended coverage in this manner until you turn 26, so all insurance policies are supposed to comply, even if they are not part of a state healthcare exchange. This policy was enacted in 2010, as one of the phases of Obamacare.

Who pays for it? Actually, insurance companies take the responsibility, not your parents.

Most health insurance policies are written as individual or family plans. The family plan is almost a "one size fits all" structure, with the same rate for a family of four as for a family of three. There are stages to the rate structure to allow for larger families, so, it shouldn't cost your parents more to keep you on their insurance if you're on the family plan. Your medical care, however, is still covered by the insurance company, so if you get sick or injured, it has to keep providing coverage at the discounted family rate. They won't make as much money as they would if you had your own policy.

College and Clinic

The college you attend may also have health insurance policies. However, some colleges have dropped their insurance coverage, because of the rates and restrictions implemented by the ACA. These insurance policies will offer you a reasonable copay for medical treatment at the campus clinic and pharmacies. Many people overlook this coverage because they expect it to be substandard, and automatically assume the medical care on campus to be poor. However, insurance coverage that is economical will still save you money on those sinus infections, colds, and finals-week bouts of the flu. And, you can have double coverage in many cases. Check with your university policy and see if you can get coverage there while you are still on your parent's plan. If so, you often can break even on medical care, with one policy covering you until you reach the deductible on the other plan.

Employer Coverage

Some women are lucky enough to find a job while they are in college that they can keep until after graduation. In these cases, you may have completed your exclusionary period while you were still covered under your parent's insurance. This means that, upon graduation, you may be immediately eligible for your employer's coverage. The change in your status from student to graduate might affect the exclusionary period, but if you are already covered, the transition should be pretty smooth.


Medicaid is health insurance from the government. It is designed to be available for people who have such conditions as end-stage renal failure. Those from low-income groups are also supposed to be covered by Medicaid. If you come from a family of four with an income lower than $23,550, you are eligible for Medicaid. The problem, here, is that with the ACA, the Federal Minimum Poverty Level has shrunk in the last few years. A few years ago, it was $29,000 for a family of four. Therefore, fewer people are qualified for Medicaid. Some states are struggling to expand this coverage.

Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone is supposed to purchase a health insurance policy. Your parent can acquire it for you, your employer can provide it, the government can provide it, or you purchase it on your own; as a college woman, you can check these sources out, and see where you fit in.

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