Health insurance is a complicated subject and it is all too easy to overlook the special needs of children and students. Getting cheap affordable children’s health insurance or cheap student health insurance is not always easy but, with a little bit of guidance, it is certainly possible.
The State Children’s Health Insurance Program
Getting on for 10 years ago now Congress passed a plan entitled Title XXI, or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program [SCHIP]. The aim of this plan was to deal with the growing number of children in the United States who did not have any form of health insurance cover. For many families, their income is not high enough for them to purchase private health insurance but is too high for them to apply for Medicaid and they need to find a source of cheap child health insurance. However, under this state plan the family is charged a maximum of 5% of their gross annual income and, in a large number of cases, may receive medical treatment at no cost at all.
The cover provided under this plan varies from one state to the next, but all states have to provide a minimum of cover including such things as well-baby and well-child physicals, immunization and emergency services.
If Your Kid Does Not Qualify for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
One important thing to note however is that, if your child is already covered under a health insurance plan, then he or she is not eligible for the coverage under the state plan.
If your children are not eligible for cover under the state plan then you will have to consider whether they should be covered under a family plan or on their own individual plans. Generally, it will be more cost-effective to have a family plan but, if you only have one child, an individual plan for that child might prove to be more cost-effective.
Health Insurance for Students
Turning to health insurance for students, most colleges and universities have their own health care clinics for the treatment of routine ailments such as sore throats, colds and minor sports injuries. All students should however have some form of health insurance cover for unexpected medical problems including more complex illnesses and surgery.
If it is possible to do so, you should try to have your children covered on your own individual or family plan and the majority of plans will cover children even when they are away at school. Some plans may however place restrictions on coverage and you need to check these carefully.
If you feel that your children need their own individual health insurance plans while they are away at college, then there are several insurance companies which cater specifically to the needs of students. However, you should research this area with care and make sure that the cover being provided meets your needs.
It is easy to assume that the government will take care of the health needs of our children and that colleges and universities will likewise provide health insurance for a student. This is not the case however and as parents it is our responsibility to ensure that our children get the health care that they need.