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My college offers health insurance. Can I purchase coverage through the exchange instead?

  • By
  • healthinsurance.org contributor
  • February 16, 2016

Q. I’m a college student and my school offers health insurance. But I would rather purchase my own coverage in the exchange where I would be eligible for a subsidy. Can I do that?

A. Yes. The Treasury Department clarified in 2013 that all college and graduate students can qualify for subsidized insurance on an exchange — as long as they don’t enroll in the university’s plan.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for college students. In your situation — since you’re eligible for a subsidy in the exchange — it’s likely cost-effective to purchase an exchange plan instead of the student health plan from your university.

But for students who aren’t eligible for a subsidy (which is often the case if the student is still claimed as a dependent on their parents’ tax return, and the parents’ income is counted for subsidy-eligibility purposes), the college’s health plan may end up being more affordable.

Whichever option you choose, the coverage will be fully-compliant with the ACA. Student health plans are required to comply with all of the ACA’s individual market reforms, as are all individual major medical plans — including both on and off-exchange plans.

Read more FAQs about health reformhealth insurance exchanges, and student health insurance.

 

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