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"What's the chance of me coming down with a major disease or illness? I'm too young for something like that to happen. If I get really sick, I guess I could go to the student health center. But, if I had to go to the hospital I don't know how it would be paid for."

College Student


If your child is a full-time student living at home or away at school, your health insurance may cover him or her up to age 25. Check with your current plan to determine the age limit. If your son or daughter is living away from home, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • If your insurance is through a health maintenance organization (HMO), does the plan's service area cover the region where your child will be living? If not, what coverage options are available? You may only be covered for emergency care.
  • If the plan is a preferred provider organization (PPO), how strong is the network of providers in the area where your child will be living?
  • Does the plan cover emergency room visits without your prior approval? What are you required to do if your child is hospitalized? Which hospitals and urgent care facilities can he or she use?
  • Are any outpatient or preventative services covered? If you have chosen a primary care physician or medical group at home, should you choose a new provider where the school is located?

Before sending your college student off to school:

  • Give your child a copy of his or her health insurance card.
  • Make sure your child has the contact information for your health insurance plan to call for emergency treatment authorization.

NOTE: If your plan is an HMO that does not offer coverage in the area where your child will be living while in school, you may be able to change health insurance plans due to "living outside of the service area." If this is the case, contact your employee benefits office right away to make the necessary changes.

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