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Covered California Health Coverage for Students

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Covered California provides several viable options for students who want to be covered by health insurance as mandated by the Affordable Care Act on a private exchange.

What is a Student Health Plan?

A “student health plan” is regarded as a special policy offered by colleges and universities to provide health coverage to their enrolled students. Generally, student health plans differ greatly from the employer-sponsored group coverages that are available to the faculty and staff of colleges and universities. Under the Affordable Care Act, student health plans qualify as health insurance coverage since they meet the “minimum essential coverage” requirement. As a result of enrollment in student health coverage, no penalty will be imposed.

What’s the Minimum Coverage for a Student?

If you are a student and younger than 30 years old, an optional health insurance plan called a “minimum coverage plan” – which usually offers lower premiums and mostly protects consumers from worst-case scenarios – may be purchased as an alternative. Catastrophic plans obtained through Covered California essentially cover you for three doctor or urgent care visits as well as outpatient mental health/substance use visits that come with no out-of-pocket costs and free preventive benefits. However, all other services not covered by the plan will be billed at full price – but at the negotiated in-network price. Once the individual has spent the amount of $6,350, all in-network services will be covered at 100 percent.

Can Students Get a Penalty for Not Having Health Insurance?

Yes. Under the Affordable Care Act most students, unless they fall under a qualifying exception, are required to purchase health insurance or face a penalty for not having health insurance.

Exceptions include if a student is not a legal resident of the United States or if the student is not mandated to file taxes due to their income not meeting the tax filing threshold. However, all others must be insured by a student health plan or they will be subject to a fine.

Can a Student Receive Coverage Under Their Parents Health Plan?

The simple answer is – yes. A Covered California health plan allows students who are tax dependents of their parent(s) or under the age of 26 with eligibility for student health coverage to be covered on their parent’s family health plan. When choosing to be on their parent’s insurance coverage network – it is important to note – if the school is far away, their parent’s health insurance may not cover all medical services. Furthermore, should the school be out-of-state, Covered California does not currently offer any health plan products that have a network of doctors, hospitals or other health care providers outside of California.

The exception: all emergency services must be covered at the in-network price, even if the service was received out-of-state. Before deciding on this option, both student and parent should obtain more information by speaking with the parent’s health insurance plan carrier.

How Does a Student Apply for Covered California?

Applying for Covered California to comply with Obamacare for students’ requirements is quite easy as you have several options. The first, of course, is by going onto your parents’ existing coverage, if you qualify.

However, should that option not be available, the next simplest way would be to contact a Freeway Insurance office in your area to guide you through the maze of information.

Freeway Insurance, the premier health insurance broker, has partnered with Covered California and some of the nation’s most trusted carriers to help students get the health insurance they need at a low cost. Plus, Freeway’s services to find you the best health insurance quotes available are 100% free.

Remember – open enrollment for 2021 coverage begins November 1, 2020, and continues through January 15, 2021. However, Medi-Cal enrollment is open year-round.

Freeway Insurance is here to help

Let’s talk about all your open-enrollment options. Give us a call to speak to one of our agents