College is one of the best experiences of a young person’s life, but it also has its dangers. Being in close proximity to other students in dorms, classes, and parties can expose students to a wide variety of bugs and germs. This makes having a good insurance plan critical. In addition, nearly 30% of American colleges and universities require enrolling students to have a certain level of health insurance coverage. Here are the options for students who need to find health insurance:

Parent’s Health Insurance Plan
Many students will still be eligible to receive coverage from their parent’s plans. Due to recent litigation, most students will continue to receive eligibility until they are 26. Note that some schools will have requirements concerning parent’s health insurance plans. These plans are some of the best you’ll get, though you may have problems with in-network doctors if you go away from school.

If your parents don’t have health insurance, or you are no longer eligible, other options include:

College Health Insurance Plan
More than half of American colleges offer their own health insurance plans. These plans are usually a low cost and convenient option, but beware. Some of these plans have low coverage caps and other nasty surprises that may await you if you get a major illness or injury. Most of them will cover small things like medicine and immunizations, as the health of college students while they are at college is important to the schools, but they may lack elsewhere. Check all the fine print before signing the dotted line.

Individual Plans
If you are unsatisfied with your school’s offerings, consider your options for individuals plans, some of which can be applied for online. These plans are usually quite low cost, and there are usually more options available to you than if you were stuck with the school’s plan. Premiums and co-pays may be higher than what the school offers, however, and your chronic conditions may not be covered until legislation goes into place in 2014.

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