Going to College Graduation

Health Insurance After Graduation

student-healthcare-plans

Thinking about commencement ceremonies and graduation gifts? That may not be enough, even though you are proud and excited. Both college graduates and their parents should be thinking about something else–health insurance coverage!

When you graduate, you step into the future. You also take another step, one that means no more health care coverage under your college health care plan and, once you are no longer a full-time student, no more coverage under most of your parent’s plans.

With high costs of hospital stays and doctors fees, it is not a good strategy to think you are going to remain healthy or that you can wait until you get your first job for coverage. In fact, not all employers offer health care coverage automatically. Even if they do, there may be a waiting period. It could be just too life-damaging to come out of a walk-in care facility for a broken arm or leg with a debt of $30,000 – $50,000. It is better to consider your alternatives to health care coverage and have it if and when you need it.

Here are some tips about getting the coverage you need:

College Health Plan Extensions

Some colleges are now offering health care plan extensions for graduates for a short period of time at lower group plan costs for the graduation gap. You should check with your college’s business office before graduation. Sometimes, college alumni associations will also offer well-priced health care under a group plan that could cost less.

Temporary Short Term Health Care Insurance

It is possible to get health care plans on a month-to-month basis. The premiums are usually minimal. There may be no coverage for pre-existing conditions or payout caps, but many cover most procedures and general care at 80%, although the deductibles may be higher, in the $500 to $1,000 range.

Traditional Health Care Plans

You can also purchase traditional health care plans. These are more expensive but usually more comprehensive. In shopping for traditional health care coverage, you should be sure to ask about drug prescription coverage, whether or not the plan covers pre-existing conditions, and what kinds of notification is necessary prior to having procedures down in hospital or in the emergency room. If you are looking to keep the cost of such plans down, you should consider raising the deductible, making sure you have several quotes from different companies for the best price, and considering an HMO, which may limit your access to specialists but still offers you coverage from a list of many health care professionals.

Tip! You may want to start by looking online. There are a number of websites designed to help you find providers in your area, get free quotes, and compare your options. 

Best of luck!