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Health insurance help


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My financial package includes tuition scholarship and stipend, but it does not include health insurance.

How much is health insurance for a single person with no major health problems (non-smoker)? Does anyone know?

I know there must be a lot of different packages, but if anyone could just give me an average price, it would be great.

Thank you!

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This varies a lot, and I mean a lot (state of residence, quality of plan, household income). What you want to do is sign up for the state or national insurance exchange and see what is offered. You also may qualify for subsidies to reduce the cost of insurance.

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First -- when you say your package does not include health insurance, does this mean that 1) the school offers health insurance but you have to pay some or all of the costs? or 2) the school offers no student health insurance plan at all? If it's (1) then it's likely this is your best option because the school can negotiate a special plan for all the students and this is good because students are generally young and healthy. 


If it's (2) then the cheapest insurance you can get is probably through your state's ACA Marketplace/Exchange. What I would recommend you do is to go to the ACA website for the state of your school right now and see what plans are offered. You might want to sign up for an account or simply "Preview" the plans. If it helps, there are generally 5 levels of plans:


Catastrophic -- covers the big stuff only (hospitals, etc.)

Bronze -- you generally pay between 30% to 40% of the cost of most things

Silver -- you generally pay around 20% of the cost of most things

Gold -- you generally pay between 10% to 20% of the cost of most things

Platinum -- you generally pay around 10% of the cost of most things


As you go up in quality, the price of the plan increases (in California, Catastrophic is around $70/month and Platinum goes up to about $350/month). Increasing your quality also decreases your deductible (i.e. the amount you have to pay before you can get certain benefits).


I think most state Marketplace/Exchange websites ask you a few Qs about your health needs to help you determine the best plan. When you browse the plans, think about how much you will need to use each covered service and whether it's worth the increase in premium. For example, the California Silver Plan has a $45 copay for a doctor's visit while the Gold Plan is a $30 copay. However, the Gold Plan costs about $20/month more so it's not really worth it. Of course, you would also want to look at other regular costs such as your prescriptions etc. 


And finally, if you just want an average price, I think a typical plan for someone who sees the doctor a few times a year and has a few specialist appointments is the Silver Plan. It costs about $240/month in California and you may qualify for a premium reduction if your income is low enough. For someone who does not ever see the doctor, perhaps a lower plan is enough. Also, if your school has a health center that has doctors who will see you for free then you should factor this into selecting the plan too. 

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Have you checked with the program? Health insurance wasn't included in mine but the school does offer it for quite a low monthly rate. I think I need to opt into it separately, which is annoying but at least something is offered from them.

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Crisis averted!!

It turns out since I'll be a TA I qualify for their health benefits.

This was not stated on the admissions letter, like it was on the other letters I've received, which made me worry it would not be covered.

Since I come from a country with very high health insurance payments monthly, I worried that a good portion of my stipend would have to to go to health insurance.

But since that is not the case, I'm much more relieved.

Thank you all for the help!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey, guys. Do you recommend any health insurance plan for an International Student and my family?

I saw that the UC Davis` health insurance plan is a quite expensive I am wondering if can I get another one outside the college. If yes, do know anyone?



Thank you.

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