How to Finance Cheap Health Insurance for a Student

1.

Highlight all professional and community affiliations. For instance, you might get a cheaper rate if you are a member of ABCDE club. Ask representatives from each insurance company about possible discounts.

2.

Search for insurance policies that address your needs. Although you currently might not have health problems, carefully evaluate the policy limits, exclusions, restrictions, and benefits. For instance, consider whether the policy will cover physicians in your hometown. Most plans cover prescriptions but not dental expenses.

3.

Evaluate total health insurance costs. Do not select your school sponsored plan without comparing other plans. If you are enrolling in a traditional four-year program, estimate insurance cost for four years (e.g., premium, deductible).

4.

Assess your finances. If you cannot deduct insurance costs from your scholarships and grants, consider financing the cost. A subsidized federal loan will be cheaper than a loan from any private lender. Contact the insurance company about payment options.

5.

Brainstorm creative options. Avoid payday, personal or title loans that often charge over 100 percent interest (consumersunion.org/finance/paydayfact.htm). Develop a fundraiser, such as a car wash or ask friends and family members to donate towards your expenses.

Tips and Warnings

  • Most colleges maintain student health centers on campus to address minor issues.
  • Discuss financing options with the insurance company. You might be able to work part time, especially if you can spread the insurance cost into four payments (two per semester).
  • Several U.S. colleges require students to demonstrate proof of health insurance. Students without insurance are unable to enroll in classes. The main insurance companies in the United States include Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, United HealthCare and Kaiser Permanente. Generally one insurance company signs a contract to offer health policies directly through the school, though students can select any company. School-sponsored health insurance plans often can be added to college expenses along with tuition and housing.