Health Insurance For College Students With No Income

Health Insurance For College Students With No Income

Are you looking for health insurance for college students with no income? If yes then you are at the right place. When you are in school, getting hurt or sick should not stress you out.

But, accidents can happen anytime. Luckily, there are special health insurance plans for different types of students, like college students, graduation students, and those over 26.

If you are in college, your school might need you to have health insurance. But if you are covered by your parent’s plan, you might not need to sign up. 

For international college students, your visa type decides if you are eligible for health insurance. If you are over 26, you can buy your plan.

For younger students in high school or elementary school, children’s health insurance might be a better option. In this article, we will talk about the health insurance for college students with no income. 

Keep reading to find out more about how college student health insurance works and the different types of plans available. Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways

  • Not all colleges require you to have health insurance, but most do. 
  • Check with your school to see what their policy is.
  • There are four main options for health insurance for college students:
    • i) Parent’s health insurance plan (if you are under 26)
    • ii) College health insurance plan
    • iii) Medicaid (for low-income students)
    • iv) Individual health insurance plan (bought on your own)
  • Consider your health needs and budget when choosing a plan.
  • Short-term health insurance is a temporary option for students who need coverage for a short time.

Do College Students Need Health Insurance?

Having the best health insurance plan in college is super important. It helps you with unexpected medical costs and makes it cheaper to see a doctor.

Some colleges say you need health insurance to join, but not all of them do. It depends on the school.

If you are coming to the U.S. from another country, having health insurance is useful. The U.S. does not have free healthcare for everyone. 

So having insurance helps pay for your medical needs. But it depends on your visa and where you are studying.

If you are in college or grad school, you might be covered by your parents’ insurance or by the school. But if you are older than 26, you can get your insurance plan.

How Does Health Insurance For College Students With No Income Work?

Student health insurance is just like regular health insurance. You pay a fee called a premium, and in return, you get help with medical costs. 

Sometimes, you have to spend a certain amount of money on medical care before your insurance starts paying. 

With student health insurance, you might have copays or discounts on doctor visits, medicines, and treatments. 

Every plan has its own rules, so make sure to check them out before picking one.

Types of Health Insurance Options For College Students With No Income

If you are a student, whether you are young or have parents helping you, you will need to think about health insurance. Here are some options for students who are either over or under 26 years old.

1. A Parent’s Health Insurance Plan

If you are in college and under 26, you might be able to join your parent’s health insurance plan. It is usually easy and not too expensive. 

The law says insurance companies have to let kids stay on their parent’s plan until they are 26. 

This rule works for both individual plans and plans from jobs. You can get this coverage even if you are married, have another plan, live with your parents, or are listed on their taxes.

If you are a full-time or part-time student under 26, living in the same state as your parents, and want complete health coverage that meets all the rules, major medical insurance might be right for you. 

It includes important benefits like doctor visits and preventive care, and you cannot be turned down because of any health issues you already have. 

So if you need regular medical care or take prescription drugs, this kind of insurance could be a good fit for you.

How To Get This Basic Insurance Coverage?

You can get major medical insurance from your parent’s job or their insurance plan. They might get it from, a state website, or a private insurance company. 

You can only sign up during certain times unless something big happens in your life, like moving or having a baby.

2. Student Health Insurance Plans

If you are a student, your college might offer health insurance plans. These plans usually cover important medical services like doctor visits and prescriptions. 

Some plans are provided by insurance companies and follow the rules of the Affordable Care Act.

Part-time and international students should check with their school to see if they are eligible for these plans. 

The benefits can vary depending on whether the plan is fully insured or self-insured.

Who should consider this?

  • Students without coverage from their parents
  • Those studying away from their parents’ insurance network
  • Students under and over 26 can usually find a plan that fits their needs at school.

To get this insurance, ask your college about their student health plans and how to sign up.

3. Catastrophic Health Insurance Plan

If you are in school, your college might have health insurance plans. These plans cover stuff like going to the doctor and getting prescriptions. 

If you are a part-time or international student, ask your school if you can get these plans. What you get from the plan depends on whether it’s fully insured or self-insured.

Who should think about this?

  • Students who don’t have insurance from their parents
  • People studying far from where their parents’ insurance works
  • Students who are younger or older than 26 can usually find a good plan at school.

4. Medicaid

Medicaid is a program that offers free or low-cost health insurance to people who qualify based on their income and other factors. Both the state and federal governments fund it.

If you qualify, you can get Medicaid, which covers things like hospital visits, doctor appointments, and lab tests. 

Some states also offer extra benefits like prescription drug coverage and therapy sessions.

Who might think about this?

  • Students who are younger or older than 26
  • Whether you are studying full-time or part-time
  • Students who don’t have insurance from their parents
  • People whose parents’ insurance is too expensive
  • Students with little or no income
  • If you live in a state where Medicaid expanded, you might qualify if your income is up to 138% of the Federal poverty level. 
  • Otherwise, you can check for your state’s rules.

Please remember, while your health history does not matter, you need to meet your state’s rules to qualify for Medicaid. Also, depending on your situation, you might not have to pay anything for Medicaid or just a low fee.

5. Individual Health Insurance Plan Coverage

If you are a college student and do not have health insurance through your parents or job, you might want to look into getting your own individual health insurance. 

These plans follow the rules of the Affordable Care Act and cover all the important benefits you need. It could be a good choice if you are looking for affordable health insurance. 

You might even qualify for subsidies to help lower your monthly payments if you buy your plan through or a state exchange.

Who should think about this?

  • Students under 26 without their parents’ insurance
  • Students over 26 without a job’s insurance
  • Whether you are studying full-time or part-time
  • If your school is far from where your parents’ insurance works
  • Students who need comprehensive health insurance
  • Those with existing health issues or who need regular medical care
  • Students who qualify for subsidies to cut down on costs
  • People who do not qualify for Medicaid

To get this insurance, you can sign up through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges or go through an insurance agent, directly from an insurance company, or from a website that offers different plans.

6. Short Term Health Insurance

Short term health insurance is like a temporary fix if you need coverage quickly. It is not the same as regular health insurance because it doesn’t follow all the rules of the Affordable Care Act.

You can get it online pretty fast, and it helps pay for unexpected medical events like accidents or sudden illnesses. But, it usually doesn’t cover things like check-ups or conditions you had before you got the insurance. 

Sometimes, they might say no to covering you based on your health history. If you want more comprehensive coverage that follows all the rules, you might want to think about getting regular health insurance instead.

What Does Health Insurance For College Students and Graduate Students Cover?

Student health insurance works a lot like regular health insurance. It usually covers things like going to the doctor or hospital, getting prescriptions, and treatments for medical issues. 

Some plans even cover mental health care. But remember, every plan is different, so make sure to check what’s included before you choose one.

How To Get Health Insurance For College Students With No Income?

Before you pick a health insurance plan for college, let’s go through how to choose and sign up for coverage.

  1. Think about your health needs: Do you see the doctor often? Take any regular medications? Play sports that might lead to injuries?
  2. Figure out your budget: How much can you spend each month on insurance? What about extra costs like deductibles or copayments?
  3. Get quotes for different plans: You will need to give some basic information like your age and where you live. Look at things like monthly fees, deductibles, and what’s covered.
  4. Compare your options: Check if your favorite doctors are in the plan’s network and see what’s covered and what’s not.
  5. Apply for the plan you like: You can usually do this online, and it does not take long. Some plans need more information about your health, while others are quicker to sign up for.

How To Get a Short-Term Health Insurance Quote?

When you are looking for health insurance as a college student, short-term plans might be cheaper because they do not cover as much. 

If you pick a plan with more benefits, you will pay more each month, but if you choose fewer benefits, your monthly payment might be lower.

Short-term plans can be good for students who need temporary coverage, like over the summer or while they are waiting for another plan to start. 

They are also for students who don’t qualify for other types of insurance, like Medicaid, or who need coverage fast.

Who might need this:

  • Students who need coverage for a short time, like over the summer
  • Recent grads who aren’t covered by a job yet
  • Students going to school far from home
  • Students who are too old for their parents’ insurance
  • Full- or part-time students who don’t qualify for Medicaid

You can get short-term insurance online or from a health insurance agent. Just compare your options and sign up for the one that works best for you.

Free Health Insurance For College Students With No Income

If you need a low-cost health insurance plan, there are options for you. If you do not have a job or don’t make much money, you can get help from the health insurance marketplace. 

This helps you pay for your insurance. If you don’t qualify for marketplace help, you can also try short-term health insurance or Medicaid.

The health insurance marketplace is a website where you can find and buy insurance plans. It is easy to use and can save you money.

How Does It Work?

Health insurance helps you with medical expenses by covering all or part of the costs. It works like other types of insurance where the risk is spread out among many people. This means everyone has the chance of needing medical help.

To make sure there is enough money to cover everyone’s medical needs, the insurance company comes up with a plan. They figure out how much risk there is overall and how much money they need to pay for everyone’s healthcare. 

Then, they set up a way to collect money, like a monthly payment or a tax from your paycheck, to fund the healthcare benefits outlined in the insurance agreement.

Health Insurance For College Students With No Income Summary

OptionDescriptionSuitable for
Parent’s planUp to age 26Young students
Student health insuranceOffered by collegeAll students
MedicaidFree/low-cost, based on incomeLow-income students
Individual planThrough ACA marketplaceAll students
Short-term planTemporary coverageStudents needing short-term coverage

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best health insurance for independent college students?

When it comes to student health insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield is a top choice. But if you need more specific coverage, UnitedHealthcare, Everest, and Compass are also good options. If you do not have health insurance from your parents or job, you will need to get your health insurance.

2. How much does student health insurance cost in the US?

In the last school year, the yearly cost of health insurance at public universities was around $2,924 on average. For private universities, it was a bit higher, averaging about $3,874 annually for undergrads, according to Beckley’s findings.

3. Can an international student get health insurance in the USA?

If you are studying in the USA and you are not from here, you must have international student insurance. You cannot even sign up for classes without it. Please remember, healthcare is not free for international students, so you will need to pay for it somehow.

4. How much is the cheapest health insurance in the US?

If you are looking for cheap health insurance, you might want to check out Kaiser Permanente, Aetna, or Ambetter. These companies offer Bronze plans, which are usually the least expensive and still give you good medical benefits. On average, a Bronze plan costs about $462 per month in 2024. These plans follow the rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


There are lots of health insurance for college students with no income. Each plan has its costs and benefits. So you must pick the one that fits your needs. Carefully take a look at the options available and choose what works best for you.

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