October 20, 2006, Newsletter Issue #49: Shopping for Student Health Insurance

Tip of the Week

Whether you are shopping for a student health insurance plan for yourself or your adult child, it is important to understand exactly what the policy will and won't cover. A fee-for-service plan, though more expensive, will allow the covered person the greatest flexibility in deciding when and where to receive treatment. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) have some features of managed care but are generally less expensive than fee-for-service plans and less restrictive than HMOs. HMOs usually offer the lowest premiums but have the tightest restrictions on when and where you can receive care. When you are shopping for college student health insurance, ask the insurer specifically what types of services are covered, what providers and hospitals are covered, and whether the policy will cover treatment received when the student is home for breaks and over summer vacation. You should also ask if the policy will be automatically renewed or whether you will need to reapply for coverage each year.

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