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Health Insurance Guide for Students

Health insurance is just as important for students as it is for families. It will pay for some or all of the medical costs that pop up in life, from a broken leg to infectious disease. That does not mean you have to settle for the first quote you get, or even take the insurance offered through the university where you study. Shopping around for the best coverage at an affordable price should always be your first priority.

Know Your Medical Needs

You are better able to determine what type of medical attention you will require the most, and to make an informed decision about your health coverage based on that. If you pick up a health care plan that excludes a condition that is common in your family history, it might be best to keep searching. A health plan that won't cover the things which afflict you is not much help, even if it is the cheapest insurance available.

Consider the Plan Carefully

Does it include different levels of coverage or plan options? If so, pick only the options that can benefit you, and choose the plan that is best suited to your needs and lifestyle. Group plans are always less expensive than individual plans, but they may incur hidden charges that you should be aware of.

Find Out Whether the Plan Restricts Doctor Selection

HMO health insurance does not usually allow seeing doctors outside of the network unless you pay for them yourself, but PPO health plans allow you to do so as long as you pay the difference in cost between the network doctor and what your chosen physician charges.

Know What Your Deductibles and Copays Will Be

If you can afford to raise your deductible, do so. Higher deductibles result in lower premiums, so the more you are willing to pay out of pocket, the more you will actually save over the life of the plan. Make sure that you understand how the deductibles work. Some plans have a single deductible for the plan, but others require separate deductibles for different procedures or even for each new claim you file.

Shop Around Carefully Before You Join a Health Care Plan

There are many different insurers, and each one has a health care plan that is different. Look for plans that fit your needs the most closely, and then narrow the choices down by getting acquainted with the company's customer service reviews and financial ratings with a company like Finch's. If you are not comfortable with a specific health plan, do not buy it