The Plan for Insurance
Students at many colleges today must have a health insurance plan that meets their University’s minimum requirement. And, if you forget to submit a waiver if your student is covered under your medical plan, the University will purchase a plan for your student. Knowing this, my daughter still forgot to submit a waiver. When she received her bright futures deposit, I questioned why it was so low and, after a series of questions and looking through the allocation of funds, I learned that is exactly what happened. When I spoke to someone at the University, they assured me that my daughter had received many, and I mean many, reminder emails. This oversight cost us a penalty to have it canceled.
Deciding on which health plan your student should be on may require a degree in economics. There are so many variables to consider when choosing:
- Does your current health insurance plan meet the university’s minimum coverage requirements?
- Is the monthly premium you pay for your child pre-tax or after-tax?
- Is it marketplace insurance or subsidized and again, does it meet the university’s minimum requirements?
- Does your current insurance cover your student at an out of state college?
You are also paying for the University coverage upfront and not monthly as with your own health insurance. I had to do an analysis for my daughter when the insurance she had under her father’s plan expired. Trust me when I say DO THE MATH!
Additionally, if your student is coming to UF from out of state, you will need to check with your current health insurance coverage to see if it covers their costs while attending school and living out of state.
There are many decisions that need to be made in regards to health insurance. At the University of Florida. The UF Health Insurance Plan is administered through United Healthcare. All insurance plans must adhere to the Affordable Care Act’s regulations. (Stay tuned for any changes made to the ACA) If you are not attending for all three semesters, you do have other options.
The rates for the University of Florida plan for a single student average approximately $185.00 per month. If your student is already covered by your own plan, you should consider what your cost is to keep them on your plan. Suffice to say, if this is a Cafeteria Plan using pre-tax dollars, it could be more reasonable to keep them on your insurance plan. In addition, if you are going to be studying abroad, you may want to consider your options on which plan to go with. The guidelines for the minimum coverage can be found here.
If you do decide to maintain your student’s current health insurance on your health plan, then you must turn in a waiver in the same time frame as the fee payment deadline which is valid for one year or three semesters and then needs to be renewed every year.(turned in prior to your first semester at UF). If you fail to turn in the waiver, the University will bill you for health insurance and if you turn in the waiver late the University will bill you a late filing fee. Annual coverage starts in August and can only be purchased during the fall enrollment period, which ends 30 calendar days after classes start for the Fall Semester. This means you have a big decision to make earlier than when you decide on your own health insurance. The University will only auto-enroll students for term coverage in which they are registered for 6 or more credit hours. If you require insurance when you will not be taking classes (i.e. during summer), you may want to consider purchasing the Annual Plan.
This means if you decide to switch your student to the school administered health insurance on an annual basis, then when you sign up for new health insurance for your own needs in November, your student would already be on the University plan. It may make sense to sign up by the semester.
If you are unsure of which plan makes the most sense for your family and you have a financial planner or a certified public accountant, they can run the numbers for you.
For information about UF’s student Health Insurance options, click here.
For information in regards to the Waiver requirements and forms, click here.