UPDATED: JULY 05, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
With shoestring budgets and busy schedules, it’s easy for college students to forget about healthcare until they need to use it. If you or your child is a student getting ready for college in Arizona, read more about available health insurance options for students below.
What are the Arizona health insurance options available for students?
Attending college in Arizona without health insurance puts you at risk for unexpected medical costs that can surpass your tuition.
Fortunately, Arizona students have plenty of options for healthcare, including:
- College plans
- Parent’s insurance plan
- Marketplace plan
- Catastrophic plans
Arizona students also have the option to enroll in short-term, employer-sponsored, or private insurance plans.
Benefits of student health insurance
While health insurance may not seem like a cost-friendly addition to a college student’s budget, health insurance can help keep you healthy and save money. Even if you’re in generally good health, the right health insurance coverage can protect you from the high costs of medical care.
Rules for Arizona health insurance for students
If you’re an Arizona student under 26, you can remain on your parent’s insurance plan. Some colleges may also require you to have health insurance coverage. Check with the admissions office to determine if coverage is required.
Did the state implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion?
Arizona has implemented ACA’s Medicaid expansion, covering more than 660,000 Arizonans. The state’s Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), offers eight managed care plans from which AHCCCS members can choose.
Arizona ACA Open Enrollment dates
Arizona’s open enrollment started on November 1, 2022, and closes on January 15, 2023. However, those with a qualifying life event may apply for a healthcare plan outside those dates, usually within the last 60 days.
Are health insurance subsidies available?
Depending on your income level, you may qualify for health insurance subsidies in Arizona. Check the 2022 Subsidy Calculator to see if you qualify.
What to consider when choosing Arizona student health insurance plans
Your ideal health insurance plan depends on your health and budget. However, you’ll also want to consider the following questions to ensure you enroll in the best coverage possible.
Are you going to school in-state or out-of-state?
Local doctors and hospitals may not accept your insurance if you stay in or move out of state. Before enrolling in a new plan, check your existing one to see if it’s network-based and limited to a specific area.
Are you considered someone’s dependent?
Many health insurance plans, like those offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), use household income to determine one’s eligibility. Your eligibility relies on your family’s income if you’re a dependent.
Will you stay on your parent’s health insurance plan or enroll independently?
The ACA allows children to remain on their parent’s health plan until they turn 26. However, if the doctors in your college city are considered out-of-network, your medical care will be much higher or not covered.
What type of student health insurance plans are cheaper?
Your ideal student insurance depends on your healthcare needs and budget. When comparing costs, consider all costs involved, such as deductibles, copayments, premiums, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket expenses.
What student health plans offer the best coverage?
When shopping for student insurance, coverage is an important factor. When comparing coverage across plans, consider covered services, your provider network, and the network of doctors and hospitals you can access for care.
What happens if you don’t have student health insurance coverage?
You can never predict when you’ll need medical care, and medical expenses can be financially catastrophic. If you don’t have health insurance, you risk paying expensive medical bills out of your pocket.
How to get Arizona student health insurance coverage
Arizona students have many options for health insurance coverage, but the application processes vary. From remaining on your parent’s health insurance plan to exploring short-term health insurance, learn more about each option before you apply.
How to get coverage on your parent’s health insurance plan
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may remain on your parent’s health plan until age 26. After your 26th birthday, you need to find your medical insurance.
Getting health insurance from your school
Most Arizona schools don’t require students to have health insurance unless they’re international students. Although coverage isn’t required, many schools will offer a school-sponsored plan for those eligible. For example, Arizona State, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona offer the Arizona Board of Regents Student Health Insurance Plan administered by Aetna Student Health.
Getting student health insurance coverage through the ACA
In Arizona, you can enroll in an ACA health plan through the federal health insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov. Enrollment in an ACA plan will depend on your age and whether or not you’re claimed as a tax dependent.
Getting student health insurance coverage from Medicaid
KidsCare is the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Arizona, offering coverage for children up to age 19 that aren’t Medicaid-eligible due to a higher family income. KidsCare and Medicare are available to eligible state residents only.
What other student health insurance options are available in Arizona?
Students looking for alternative healthcare coverage in Arizona have two options: short-term health insurance and catastrophic health plans.
Short-term health insurance companies offer temporary coverage for up to 12 months and can be renewed for up to 36 months. These plans are typically low-cost and don’t cover essential health benefits or pre-existing conditions.
Catastrophic health plans cost less than ACA plans but have higher deductibles. These plans are options for those under 30 who have a particular hardship or can’t afford a traditional plan.
Cheapest student health insurance plans in Arizona
Finding cheap health insurance in Arizona depends on the coverage options, how much you visit the doctor, and other factors.
Cheapest health insurance plan for students with low out-of-pocket maximums
If you have frequent medical visits, enrolling in a high-tier plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum is best. Gold or Platinum tiers will allow you to reach your maximum quickly, so your insurer will start covering costs. Arizona’s cheapest health insurance plan comes from Ambetter from Arizona Complete Health.
Cheapest student health insurance plan with high out-of-pocket maximums
If you’re generally healthy and tend only to have annual healthcare visits, enroll in a low-cost plan with a high out-of-pocket maximum. Arizona’s cheapest plan is Blue SimpleHealth – PimaFocus Network by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.
Cheapest student health insurance plan with an HSA option
Another alternative is to enroll in a health savings account (HSA) plan, which lets you accrue tax-free savings for health-related expenses. Available for both Expanded Bronze and Silver tiers, Arizona’s cheapest HSA plans include:
- Cheapest HSA Expanded Bronze: Blue Portfolio HSA Bronze – PimaFocus Network provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
- Cheapest HSA Silver: Ambetter Balanced Care 25 HSA by Ambetter from Arizona Complete Health
Cheapest HMO health insurance plan available for students
The best healthcare plan depends on your unique healthcare needs. In Arizona, health maintenance organization (HMO) plans are the most common plan type. The state’s cheapest HMO Silver plan is Blue AdvanceHealth Silver – PimaFocus Network by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.
Arizona Student Health Insurance FAQs
Can a college student get AHCCCS?
Any Arizona resident under the income limit may qualify for AHCCCS.
What is the cost of student health insurance in Arizona?
Your actual health insurance cost depends on your plan type. Explore your options and compare costs before enrolling in a plan.
Does ASU offer student health insurance?
Arizona State University offers student health insurance through United Healthcare and ASU Health Services, a campus health facility for all students.
How does insurance work for college students in Arizona?
Arizona students have many options for health insurance, with varying coverage options and costs.
Finding student health insurance in Arizona
Those shopping for student health insurance in Arizona have many options. Take a moment to explore those options and compare the costs with your coverage needs. Once informed, you can decide on the best coverage for your budget.