Tuesday, October 31, 2006

College Health Insurance

Before I went away to attend a major university on the East Coast, my parents sat me down to give me some advice. They gave me the standard speech about how important a degree would be for my future and how I would have to be mature enough to do all my homework and keep my grades up without anyone there to remind me to do so. And of course they gave me a long lecture about why I should stay away from drugs and alcohol -- all in all, it was the usual parent stuff. In fact, the only unexpected thing they did was tell me to start researching college health insurance plans before I left.
This was unexpected because I figured I was covered on my parents' policies. This was true, but my dad explained that a college health insurance plan taken out specifically in my name would be much safer and more convenient in the long run. Apparently, my parents' policy was very restrictive as to the doctors and hospitals that could be consulted in the event of an emergency. So if I had my own college health insurance, I would be able to seek treatment near my school without worrying about whether I would be covered or not.
Getting a college health insurance policy in my name sounded like a smart thing to do, so I went online to start checking out the various plans that are available. My parents had given me some basic guidelines as far as what to look for in a college health insurance plan, such as premiums, deductibles, annual caps, and breadth of the company's medical network. I treated my college health insurance search as I would a school assignment, and put all the results of my research into an easy-to-read chart. This made it simple for my parents and I to sit down and compare the various college health insurance plans that are available.
I left the final decision about my college health insurance up to my parents. After all, they have more experience with that type of thing and would be able to evaluate the different policies much more effectively than I could. When all was said and done, we selected a pretty comprehensive college health insurance plan that would provide coverage for everything from minor illnesses to major accidents.
Although I hope I never have to actually use my college health insurance coverage, I'm glad that I have it. It gives my parents some peace of mind because they know I'll be taken care of even though I'll be more than a thousand miles away from home. Plus, now I know that with my college health insurance plan, I won't have to uproot my life to come back home if I get sick. And that's what gives me peace of mind.