Health insurance is a complex area and it's very easy to overlook the special needs of children and students. Finding an affordable health insurance plan that fits your needs is not always easy but, with some guidance, it is possible.
Nearly 10 years ago now Congress passed a plan entitled Title XXI, or the State Children's Health Insurance Program [SCHIP]. This plan was aimed at dealing with the growing number of children in the United States living without any form of health insurance. Unfortunately, for many families, their income is not sufficient to afford private health insurance but is too high to apply for Medicaid. Under this state plan however the family is charged a maximum of 5% of their gross annual income and, in many cases, can receive medical treatment at no cost at all.
The cover provided under this program varies from state to state, but all states must provide a minimum of cover including such things as well-baby and well-child physicals, immunization and emergency services.
One thing to note is that, if your child is already covered under a health insurance policy, then he or she will not be eligible for the state coverage.
If your children are not eligible for medical care under the state plan then you will need to consider whether they should be covered under a family policy or on their own individual policies. As a general rule, it will normally be more cost-effective to have a family policy although, if you have only one child, an individual policy for that child may prove to be more cost-effective.
When it comes to student health insurance most colleges and universities have their own health care clinic for treating routine ailments such as colds, sore throats and minor sports injuries. However, all students should have some form of health insurance cover for unexpected medical problems including more complex illnesses and surgery.
If possible, you should try to have your children covered on your own individual or family policy and most policies will cover children even when they are away at school. Some policies may however place certain restrictions on coverage and these should be checked carefully.
If you find that your children need their own individual health insurance policies whilst away at college, then there are a number of insurance companies that cater specifically to the needs of students. You should however research this area carefully and make certain that the cover being provided meets your needs.
It is all too easy to assume that the government will take care of the health needs of children and that colleges and universities will likewise take care of their students. Unfortunately, this is not the case and, as parents, it falls to us to ensure that our children get the health care that they need.
If you are looking for affordable family health insurance or indeed any form of low cost health insurance plan then the Internet provides an excellent starting point for your search.