Without the right information, students, recent grads risk gaps in health insurance

Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports that more than 70 percent of college students and recent graduates say they have difficulty finding affordable insurance coverage, reinforcing the importance of educating students about their coverage options.

The article references findings from a nationwide poll by AgileHealthInsurance.com, which sells short-term health insurance, indicating that students struggle with expensive premiums and high out-of-pocket costs, especially as they face “significant and enduring education-related costs.” Bruce Telkamp, founder and chief executive officer of AgileHealthInsurance.com, says the company’s research “has consistently shown that unless [students and recent grads] can find major medical insurance for under $100 per month, most will forgo health coverage and become uninsured.”

One contributor to student insurance gaps is a lack of education about affordable options. For instance, Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, says that “a lot of students might be surprised to learn that if they’re on their own…they might be eligible for Medicaid depending on what state they’re in.” Ultimately, it would be beneficial for colleges and universities to educate students and parents about their coverage options, not only as they start school but also as they graduate, says Dr. Linda J. Blumberg, an Institute Fellow in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute.

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