health insurance as a student

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by koma, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. koma

    koma Member
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    Probably most med students opt for medical insurance from their schools. However I am wondering if anyone chose to use their own insurance instead since I bet it would be a lot cheaper (at my school, health insurance is 933 a semester which seems rather steep). If yes, which companies would you recommend? (I guess this isnt applicable to those who use their spouse's insurance or whatnot).
     
  2. BassDominator

    BassDominator Senior Member
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    The insurance policies most schools offer are pretty basic (read high copays for office visits and prescriptions) but also a pretty good value. They get a group discount, which is usually several hundred dollars less than you could get for an individual policy by yourself. I'd stick with the school policy.
     
  3. lyragrl

    lyragrl Mold-a-rama fan
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    Good luck finding cheaper insurance. Most big insurance programs charge at least $250/person/month. When I get COBRA when I leave my job, it's going to cost me nearly $700/month for myself and my husband. Usually your school's insurance is the best deal unless your spouse/partner has insurance through work.
     
  4. Vincristine

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    $933 a semester for health insurance is far from steep, especially depending on the benefits actually are. Unless you have a working spouse, you'll be hard pressed to insurance yourself for less.
     
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    I think you'll find, as others have noted, independent health insurance (ie, not offered or subsidized by an employer) is very expensive. While I don't doubt that your school plan sounds expensive, I'll bet it won't hurt nearly as much as an outside plan.
     
  6. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    I think AMSA used to offer student health insurance - I don't know much about it but I've met students who have bought it because it was cheaper than what they school offered.


    Check out link: http://www.amsa.org/member/benefits.cfm#health

    "AMSA's medical insurance is designed as an alternative to any plan your school may offer. This new health and accident insurance program includes substantially higher benefits designed so medical students can control their own health care by providing as many choices as possible. For more information, call AMSA's group health and accident insurance provider, Student Resources, at 800-231-2672, purchase this policy online via a secure website or visit student-resources.net and select 'Insurance Brochures' from the left sidebar. (NOTE: Plans not available in NJ or OR. Residents of NY have a plan specific to their state, so please be sure to select the appropriate plan.) "


    Hope this helps
     
  7. wrigliarows

    wrigliarows Member
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    ...
     
    #7 wrigliarows, Apr 13, 2004
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  8. proman

    proman Member
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    Have you looked at individual BlueCross/BlueShield PPO? You can request a quote and packet from their website. I pay $95/mo for a PPO with Rx plan ($1500 deductible). Rates vary based on gender, age and location. They have ~6-8 different plans, depending on what your needs are. As you can see, I'm happy enough with them to post about it.
     
  9. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    could someone be so kind as to educate me on what the deductable actually means and how it works. thanks alot.
     
  10. I'm using an insurance carrier through the school...around $130/month.

    A deductible is basically how much you have to pay for a service...the rest of the balance (the difference) is paid for by the insurance company. For example, say your office visit deductible is $20. Then, no matter what kind of office visit you have, or how long it is, you always pay $20.
     
  11. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    that's what i thought it was, but than how can pple have 500 deductables. i've paid for quite a few office visits and stuff over the years that i've had no insurance and none of them was ever 500. so does that mean that you're only paying for the insurance in case something drastic happens? thanks very much for the explanation.
     
  12. Hmmm...maybe a comprehensive deductible? Covers imaging, surgery, etc.?

    Sounds more like a car deductible though. :)
     
  13. beriberi

    beriberi Senior Member
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    Alarmed that medical students (even to be) don't know what a deductible is. Don't you people have to know a bit about health care funding for your interviews?

    Anyway: a co-pay is a fixed amount that you pay for a service. Typically plans have co-pays for office visits and medications. Just like the $20 co-pay mentioned above.

    The deductible is how much out of pocket expenses you pay each year before your "co-insurance" kicks in. So, you pay the first $500 (or $2000) out of pocket for any and all expenses and then the insurance companies covers 80% of everything up to 1 million (or 75% to 2 million or 50%...you get it?).

    Before the days of HMOs, most people had only a deductible based insurance policy (no co-pays). Now, more people have programs with no deductible, but a co-pay for every service.

    In my opinion, if you are a person in general good health, in your 20s, it is a good idea to have a cheap, high deductible policy. What that means is that you are taking the risk that you may get suddenly saddled with $500 of medical bills (or 1K) but saving a lot each month. Nobody wants a few thou of medical bills, but the risk that will happen is low. Save money and assume the risk yourself instead of paying $200 a month for services you will not be likely to use. (This wouldn't apply if you had/have a chronic illness, frequent sports injuries, etc.)

    In my state you can get a $1000 deductible policy on a 25 year old male for around 60/month.
     
  14. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    thanks for the detailed explanation.
     
  15. citygirl

    citygirl Land of Happy Cows
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    I'm not sure about other schools, but ours requires that we pay for the school insurance in our tuition whether we need it or not. Maybe its because we are a state school? It is still a bargain, though. They keep their costs down because they insist that you use student health services on campus for general medical care. There is a small copay for other services. We also get prescription coverage, eyecare and dental. If you have ever looked at what a comprehensive insurance program like that costs out-of-pocket you would grab the school insurance and run.
     
  16. bgibney

    bgibney Member
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    I currently use the schools insurance but I am going to switch to BCBS PPO for next year.

    The schools insurance is alright - 15$ for generic Rx, 25$ for brand names, plus all visits/expenses at the school clinic are covered. It cost me about $1200 for the year. But, no matter what you do, make sure you read the policy very very very carefully. I just found out that my insurance doesn't cover injuries suffered while playing intramural sports (the policy said it doesn't cover intercollegiate sports - which includes club and intramurals and practice for any of those things), and am now stuck with bills from an injury earlier in the semester.

    Be careful, it seems to me you get what you pay for.
     

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