Whether or not you should enroll in a student plan depends on your personal circumstances. When thinking about whether to enroll in a student plan, keep the following things in mind:
- Compare the coverage and price to the coverage and price of other options.
- You may be able to get a discount on insurance if you buy a plan on the new Health Insurance Marketplace or qualify for coverage through Medicaid in your state. Even if you have an offer of a SHIP, you may be able to get a less expensive plan through the marketplace or Medicaid.
- Check if your alternative options have in-network doctors in your school’s area. Often, only your SHIP is accepted at a campus health center.
- Consider your parent’s plan: would there be out-of-network charges to see doctors near school? Can you pay that? Can you wait to see a doctor until you’re home?
- Review any health care that your school gives to all students, regardless of whether they buy the SHIP. Some schools automatically charge students a separate “student administrative health fee” to help cover the costs of providing services at a campus health center. You many be able to access basic services at the campus health center, and stay on a parent’s plan for larger issues.
- Ask yourself: which coverage option is the better bargain? Which has the most coverage? Which better fits your medical situation?
Note: Some schools may require you to actively opt-out (“waive out”) of a SHIP by filling out a form if you have insurance from another source, like your parents or a state program.