Obtaining quality comprehensive health care as an undergraduate or graduate student might not seem deserving of the highest priority. Students tend to believe they are not prone to the aches, pains and accidents of others, but that could not be further from the truth. A dependable health insurance plan is crucial for people of all ages. This article was provided to EasyToInsureMe.com by a University of Illinois student.
The University of Illinois, like many educational institutions, requires that all registered students have some level of health insurance coverage. The University will automatically enroll all students into the Campus Care health plan unless they file for an exemption. Campus Care coverage may seem like a convenient student benefit but it is not without its faults. Many insurance providers offer competitive health insurance coverage that is superior to what is offered through the University. Private health insurance is one such affordable alternative.
The Saver 70 and Saver 80 plans differ primarily in the percentage that is paid out-of-pocket after the deductible is met. With the Saver 70 plan, after the deductible is met, you are expected to pay 30% of costs and with the Saver 80 plan, expect to pay only 20%. With these plans you get the basic care that you need; an ideal option for a student who is saving money, fairly healthy and does not anticipate frequent yearly doctor visits. Yearly deductibles range from $1,000 to $12,500 allowing the ultimate in flexibility in monthly premiums. Preventative care is covered 100% and monthly premiums start as low as $45 per month for students.
The Copay Student Plan offers superior flexibility while providing a level of coverage that is more comprehensive than the Saver 70 and Saver 80 plans. The deductible for this plan ranges from $1000 to $12,500, with the option to select a 0%, 20% or 30% co-insurance with deductibles over $2,500. With this plan, office visits will cost between $25 and $35. Name brand and generic drugs are both covered with copays ranging between $15 to $65 (name brand drugs subjected to some additional cost) Preventative care is covered 100% and monthly premiums start as low as $59.00 per month for students.
Why choose private coverage over university provided student insurance?
One blaring difference between the University plan and the private plan is the treatment of adding additional family to your insurance coverage. For instance, private insurance offers individual plans starting at an affordable $143 monthly premium. That monthly premium includes a reasonable $2,500 deductible. If you want to add a spouse, that same insurance plan is around $245 per month; add a child and your monthly premium is a total of $388 for a family of three.
Compare that to University of Illinois’ Campus Care; a registered student is charged $401 per 16 week semester, or roughly $100 per month. Adding a spouse to that plan increases the monthly premium cost to nearly $368, and a child adds on an additional $134 per month resulting in a monthly premium of $502. Selecting private insurance would save a family of three $130 per month; quite a lot of money for a young family.
More Coverage Options – private insurance offers a broader selection of health insurance coverage options than Campus care, giving you the care you need and the doctors you want. While the Campus Care does benefit from having highly skilled doctors fresh from the University of Illinois Medical School, Campus Care does not guarantee that you will be able to see the same physician twice. Campus Care doctors are generally on a clinical rotation (staying no more than one of two months in any medical department.) This makes it difficult to create a trusting, on-going relationship with a medical practitioner; something which can be critical for those with pre-existing conditions. Private insurance allows you to select, and establish a relationship with the primary care physician of your choice as long as they are in-network.
Dual Residency – At the University of Illinois, it is quite common to encounter students who commute to classes from neighboring Indiana or Wisconsin. While the University does provide student insurance quotes, it only provides full coverage to in-network medical services provided through the University of Illinois Medical Center and their associated physicians. Essentially, that means a commuter student remains uncovered by insurance should they encounter a medical need in their home states of Indiana or Wisconsin. In this case, selecting a primary insurance through is highly recommended. Double coverage allows you to take advantage of choosing health insurance providers, while also benefiting from local coverage while at the University of Illinois.