UPDATED: JULY 05, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
Your most significant decision when planning for college might be your major and who your roommate is. What is equally important is the health insurance you need while you’re at college. If you’re attending an Alabama university or college, there are options for healthcare coverage.
What are the Alabama health insurance options available for students?
Alabama students have many healthcare options; we’ll walk you through them.
- College or university plans: Most colleges offer affordable student health insurance plans for full-time and international students through the student health center.
- Parent’s insurance plan: If you’re under 26, you can remain on your parent’s plan.
- Marketplace plans: The Federal Marketplace offers student health insurance plans with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Medicaid: Medicaid offers low-cost or no-cost health insurance through the Alabama Marketplace through healthcare.gov.
- Catastrophic health plans: If you’re under 30, low-premium, high-deductible plans cover accidents or serious illnesses.
- Short-term health plans: Short-term insurance plans are renewable for 36 months and last for up to 364 days.
- Employer-sponsored health plans: Your employer likely offers a health insurance plan to employees.
- Private insurance plans: Many private insurance companies offer cheap health insurance for students.
Benefits of student health insurance
Having health insurance in college comes with the benefit that you know you’re covered in case of an emergency. Medical services are costly, and you don’t want to pay out of pocket. Most colleges also require health insurance for registration.
Rules for Alabama health insurance for students
Alabama health insurance comes with a few rules. Rates vary from state to state, so you want to ensure you’re covered before college.
Did the state implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion?
Most states have adopted Medicaid expansion, where the government covers 90% of the costs. Alabama hasn’t expanded Medicaid, along with 12 other states.
Alabama ACA Open Enrollment dates
You can apply for Affordable Care Act health coverage during the Open Enrollment Period between November 1, 2022, and December 15, 2022.
Are health insurance subsidies available?
Premium and cost-sharing subsidies are available in the Alabama Marketplace to reduce the cost of coverage.
What to consider when choosing Alabama student health insurance plans
There are many things to consider when choosing an Alabama student health insurance plan.
Are you going to school in-state or out-of-state?
If your current health insurance policy requires you to be in-network, you might not be adequately covered in college. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to see what your options are.
Are you considered someone’s dependent?
If you’re a member of your parent’s household and they claim you on their taxes, that impacts your eligibility for a subsidy in the Alabama Marketplace. Household income is also a factor in determining eligibility.
Will you stay on your parent’s health insurance plan or enroll independently?
You can stay on your parent’s plan until 26 under the ACA. If your college is in a new city, find out if some local hospitals and doctors participate in the plan. If the answer is no, you won’t have proper coverage while at college.
What type of student health insurance plans are cheaper?
Cost is an essential factor in determining student health coverage. When deciding on a company, ensure you factor in co-insurance, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, premiums, and copays.
What student health plans offer the best coverage?
The best coverage you get for a student plan is one where you can use it out of network, and it’s cost-effective. Check out what network of providers is available to you in your college area.
What happens if you don’t have student health insurance coverage?
The Affordable Care Act requires Alabama residents to have a minimum standard of health insurance. Residents pay an annual tax penalty every month if they’re without insurance.
How to get Alabama student health insurance coverage
Alabama student health insurance plans are available in a few different ways. We’re going to walk you through your best options.
How to get coverage on your parent’s health insurance plan
You can stay on your parent’s plan until you’re 26. If you’re over 26, you have to get your health insurance.
Getting health insurance from your school
Some Alabama schools require students to have health insurance, but not all. There are school-sponsored plans that you might be eligible for. The University of Alabama only requires international students to have health insurance but doesn’t offer free care at its student health center.
Getting student health insurance coverage through the ACA
ACA plans are available for eligible students in the Marketplace with monthly premiums between $384-$641, depending on the coverage. Subsidies are available depending on your monthly income.
Getting student health insurance coverage from Medicaid
Alabama hasn’t expanded its Medicaid program, so eligibility is limited for adults who aren’t elderly, disabled or have dependent children.
What other student health insurance options are available in Alabama?
Alabama residents under 30 are eligible for a catastrophic health plan with low premiums. There are higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. The plans cover preventive services and pre-existing conditions.
Cheapest student health insurance plans in Alabama
Plans for the Alabama Health Insurance Marketplace come in levels of tiers to cover medical expenses. We’re going to walk you through the different types of insurance options.
Cheapest health insurance plan for students with low out-of-pocket maximums
Students don’t typically choose a plan with a higher premium and low out-of-pocket maximums as it’s ideal for someone with high medical costs.
You pay $466 monthly from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.
Cheapest student health insurance plan with high out-of-pocket maximums
Full-time students should opt for a low-cost plan for the school year with high out-of-pocket maximums because they have low medical costs. The only time you pay the out-of-pocket fees is if you find yourself in the emergency room or have an increase in doctor visits.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama offer a $244 monthly plan and a max out-of-pocket limit of $8,250.
Cheapest student health insurance plan with an HSA option
A Health Savings Plan (HSA) is the best option if you don’t visit the doctor regularly. They’re essentially savings accounts that offer low monthly premiums. The cheapest HAS is with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Alabama at $292 monthly.
Cheapest HMO/PPO/POS health insurance plans available for students
Alabama insurance exchange has two types of plans: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO).
PPO plans are more flexible. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama offer a monthly cost of $292 monthly.
EPO plans are in-network only but have low premiums and offer $623 monthly through Bright Health.
Does the University of Alabama offer health insurance for students?
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has a subsidized student health plan through United Healthcare Insurance Company; information is found on the university website: ua.edu.
Can students in Alabama buy health insurance?
If you can no longer stay on your parent’s plan, you’re eligible for student health insurance through the ACA.
How long can a child stay on parent’s health insurance in Alabama?
A child can stay on their parent’s plan until they are 26.
What is the best health insurance provider in Alabama?
PPO plans in the Silver tier cost $360 monthly for a 26-year-old in Alabama with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.
Does Alabama have healthcare exchanges?
There is a federally operated health insurance exchange in Alabama with three carriers.
What is the average cost of family health insurance in Alabama?
The average cost of health insurance for a family of three in Alabama is $1,445.
What are the benefits of student health insurance in Alabama?
Student health insurance benefits are: you’re covered throughout the school year wherever you go, and if you transfer schools, it follows you.
Finding student health insurance in Alabama
Purchasing cheap student health insurance in Alabama through a reputable health insurance company is simple.
If you’re ready to get student health insurance quotes, it’s as easy as comparing rates as quotes vary by company. We have a helpful tool to find the best health insurance.