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Navigating Student Health Insurance: A Parent's Guide for College Success

Updated: Mar 20

Health insurance might not be the first thing on a parent's mind when sending their children off to college, but it's a crucial aspect of ensuring their well-being and success during their academic journey. In this episode of the "Benefits Beat" podcast, hosts Maggie MacConnell and Zack Ward engage in a conversation with Val Bogdan-Powers, the president of HUB and an experienced insurance industry professional, about the ins and outs of student health insurance and her tips on how to set your children up for success when it comes to their health. Val shares her insights as a parent of college-aged kids and offers valuable advice for parents who are juggling the realities of sending their children off to college and the scary world of health insurance.

As you’re sending your children off to college, there are a million items added to your checklist – don’t forgot to add their health insurance options! When it comes to choosing the right health insurance plan for college students, it's essential to consider all the factors, such as the type of coverage, network options, individual healthcare needs, and your family's financial situation.

Typically, the “easy button” is to keep them on your health insurance plan through your employer. What some families may not realize is that many universities offer student health insurance options that may be more beneficial for your children than adding them to your employer’s plan. Parents should carefully examine these plans and compare them to their existing coverage available from their employer. Understanding the student insurance offerings and weighing them against other available options will ensure that parents make the most informed decision for their family.

Sending kids off to college also means preparing them to take responsibility for their own health. Here are some basic, but crucial examples on how parents can begin to prepare their children for healthcare success:

- Creating awareness about insurance cards and how to access them

- The importance of having a local pharmacy

- Sharing access to online carrier resources like telehealth: convenient and affordable access to medical professionals for minor illnesses and prescriptions

There are times when college students may encounter more serious health issues that require accommodations - be proactive in seeking support from the school when necessary. Don’t forget to consider your child’s mental health needs and exploring university resources for counseling and support.

College-aged children are likely to use their health insurance more frequently than expected. Being proactive, educating kids about insurance processes, and preparing for potential health emergencies will help parents ensure their children's well-being and academic success throughout their college years.

Whether you're a seasoned insurance professional or a parent entering this phase for the first time, Val's experience and advice provide a guide to navigating student health insurance options effectively. By making informed decisions and equipping your children with the necessary tools, you can set them up for a successful and healthy college experience.


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The Benefits Beat podcast breaks down the truths and misconceptions about all things benefits. This podcast will help you find the answers to all of your benefits-related questions. Be sure to follow us on Instagram! @TheBenefitsBeat

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