When it comes to penalties that are charged on people who do not have health insurance policies, college students are never exempted. That is why it is important for college student to have health insurance plans that are favorable to them. However some colleges and schools would offer theirs students health coverage and in such instances, a student will not be penalized as someone who does not have an insurance plan because you are considered as covered under the health law.
However even if you have access to a student health plan, you can also opt to purchase a health insurance plan from the market. You may realize that you qualify for lower premiums depending on your income, compared to what your school offers. If you choose this option, you should remember to answer “NO” to question such as whether you have health coverage currently. Even if you have a student health plan just answer “NO” and start a process to drop the student plan.
If you are a student with a low income you do not need to file tax returns and you will not be penalized for not having health insurance either. However if you want to be qualified for lower premium rates on a health plan based on your income then you have to file a tax return for the year during which you will have the coverage. This applies regardless of how low your income is.
As a student you also can shop for insurance plans that offer low premium rates but high deductible amounts. These are commonly referred to as catastrophic health plans. Under this plan, you will be paying for most of your medical expenses yourself up to the agreed deductible amount after which the insurer checks in to pay its bit of the amount. For a student this plan would be most appropriate as you will not be burdened by high premium rates yet in the event of worst case scenarios like say an accident or serious illness you will be covered adequately.
Another option for a student to consider would be to be covered under a parent’s insurance policy. Usually this would be ideal but is limited to students who are under 26 years old.
A student may also shop around to identify medical covers that are offered by the government and which may be helpful to them as a student. This would be most helpful as many students lack the financial capacity to buy private health insurance plans owing to the high premium rates. In the United States, a student ought to check out for Medicaid. A student may be qualified for Medicaid if they fall under the categories of people with limited income, people living with disabilities and several other social situations. It is also important to keep checking reviews about Medicaid as there may be changes that would be favorable to you for example, in some states; Medicaid covers adults who earn below a certain amount of income.
Generally being a student needs not be a reason for one to fail to have health cover. All you need to do is do your home work, find out about as many insurance plans as you can then make that very important decision of which one to apply for.
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