UPDATED: JULY 05, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
Having health insurance coverage is a requirement to enter most colleges in Florida. While this mandate isn’t always known widely, colleges ask that students have a comprehensive health insurance plan. Going to college without coverage is not a good idea, so don’t get an expensive surprise and find out what you need to know about getting student health insurance in Florida.
What are the Florida health insurance options available for students?
The options listed below are available for students going to college in the state. Colleges offer plans, and some allow for coverage under a parent’s existing plan. Suppose you’re a Florida resident or attending a school in the state.
In that case, your coverage through an insurance plan, Medicaid, or the Affordable Care Act can provide the same coverage while you’re in university.
Here are the options available:
- College or university plans
- Parent’s insurance plan
- Marketplace plans
- Catastrophic health plans
- Short-term health plans
- Employer-sponsored health plans
- Private insurance plans
Benefits of student health insurance
The primary benefit of student health insurance is that you’re covered for the entire year, not just during the college terms. You’re covered when you travel outside the state if you have a private plan or are on your parent’s coverage plan.
If you change schools, your plan goes with you. However, you may not be covered for travel or a move to another school if you choose a school-sponsored plan. Check your requirements before deciding which suits you best, and check out affordable health insurance plans in Florida.
Rules for Florida health insurance for students
The state mandates that students attending university in Florida have health insurance coverage that meets ACA levels. All four-year state colleges ask that students pay a health fee. International students must also have coverage.
There’s a mandate on public colleges to assign a health fee to each student as this acts as a deductible towards the cost of attending a doctor and for X-rays and any tests. Colleges accept in-network plans, which are listed on the college’s website.
Did the state implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion?
Unfortunately, it didn’t implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. It’s one of only 12 states that doesn’t have it.
Florida ACA Open Enrollment dates
Open enrollment dates for ACA in Florida begin on November 1, 2022, and run until January 15, 2023. If you’d like your coverage plan to start in January 2023, you must apply by December 15, 2022.
Are health insurance subsidies available?
Florida is considered one of the best states for health insurance subsidies. Subsidies are available on individual and family health plans. In 2021, nearly 94% of Florida marketplace enrollees lowered their monthly payments through subsidies.
What to consider when choosing Florida student health insurance plans
Consider all your options before choosing a plan. Investigate if a college plan suits your needs or if you can use a parent’s plan for your coverage. Ensure you receive an insurance card as proof of your coverage to access healthcare and other student health services.
Are you going to school in-state or out-of-state?
If you’re traveling out-of-state for college, check if your policy travels with you. Consider whether you want coverage solely for term time or the entire year. If you travel home often during college, consider a plan that provides year-round coverage. If traveling in-state for college, consider if you’d like this coverage to extend out of state.
Are you considered someone’s dependent?
Children are allowed to remain on their parent’s plan until age 26. This applies whether they are college students or not. Check with your university or school regarding any other rules they have around dependency eligibility. You can also check with the Florida State Department of Insurance or your insurance carrier.
Are you going to stay on your parent’s health insurance plan or enroll on your own?
This can be a tough decision as there’s so much information on medical insurance. The easiest option can be to stay on your parent’s plan until age 26. Before choosing this, you need to understand if this fits your medical needs, the value of any deductibles available, and which hospitals and doctors are in-network for you to choose from. This will impact your decision to remain on your parent’s plan or get your own.
What type of student health insurance plans are cheaper?
The following are health insurance options that may be cheaper to enroll under:
- Insurance through your parents: If you’re under 26, you can join your parents’ plan.
- School-offered coverage: Check with your college to see what medical insurance plans they offer and with what provider network.
- Health Insurance Marketplace: College students can enroll on HealthCare.gov. Your insurance requirements and income are considered to determine whether you qualify for subsidies.
- Medicaid: You may be entitled to Medicaid once your income and location are considered.
- Private plans: If you have a major illness, you may like to consider a private plan with an insurance company. They often don’t meet ACA terms. However, they can provide excellent coverage for major accidents and illnesses.
What student health plans offer the best coverage?
Blue Cross Shield and AmBetter offer plans with the best coverage. Access to a 24/7 nurse line and telemedicine are included.
What happens if you don’t have student health insurance coverage?
A visit to the emergency department or a doctor can be expensive on a college student’s budget. You may get hit with substantial medical bills that take years to pay. You may also get fined, or your wages may get impacted.
How to get Florida student health insurance coverage
Choosing your coverage is a crucial decision. Consider all your options before deciding which one suits your needs best.
How to get coverage on your parent’s health insurance plan
You’ll need to get added to their policy if you haven’t been already. Remaining on your parent’s plan has its benefits, as you keep all your records in one place and get access to complete and comprehensive medical insurance.
At 26, you will need to get y our coverage. However, some parent plans can be more expensive than getting low-cost individual insurance, so it’s good to compare.
Getting health insurance from your school
Many schools offer health insurance options for college students. The one drawback is that they may not provide coverage if you travel off-campus or live in a different state than the one you attend college in. You may also lose some benefits if you go to college part-time.
Getting student health insurance coverage through the ACA
Students are entitled to get coverage under ACA by enrolling. You may be eligible for subsidies.
Getting student health insurance coverage from Medicaid
Eligibility under Medicaid depends on your income level. Check the state’s Medicaid agency to see if you qualify.
What other student health insurance options are available in Florida?
Florida has limits on short-term health insurance. Short-term plans are no longer than 36 months. If you’re outside the enrollment period for a marketplace plan, you can try to enroll for a particular period under special circumstances or obtain off-exchange insurance coverage.
Cheapest student health insurance plans in Florida
Blue Cross Shield and AmBetter are considered the cheapest plans. However, AmBetter is only available in 20 states. Students on a low income can pay $0 per month for coverage on Medicaid, while school-offered insurance can range between $1,500 and $2,500 every year.
Cheapest health insurance plan for students with low out-of-pocket maximums
Ambetter has among some of the lowest out-of-pocket maximums.
Cheapest student health insurance plan with high out-of-pocket maximums
Blue Cross Blue Shield has among the higher plans with out-of-pocket maximums compared to others.
Cheapest student health insurance plan with an HSA option
The student health insurance plan provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield called AcademicBlueSM offers the cheapest plan with an HSA option.
Do college students qualify for Medicaid in Florida?
Medicaid is available. However, eligibility depends on income levels.
Can students buy health insurance in Florida?
Yes, they can from the exchange, a short-term, or a private plan.
Is USF health free for students?
USF offers enrollment assistance to students. Students who are registered will have no out-of-pocket expenses for medical office visits. They may get charged a minimum fee for specialty care and drug prescriptions. They can bill the insurance company the student has, or a self-pay option is available.
What is the cheapest student health insurance in Florida?
If a student qualifies for Medicaid, this can be the cheapest option.
How to find student health insurance in Florida
Finding the right student health insurance coverage for your needs can take time. Start with our helpful guide to insurance plans and begin on the right track in your college life.