College students today face growing challenges, many of them related to physical and mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought students’ mental health issues into the spotlight, with many students facing anxiety and depressive symptoms to worrying degrees. According to a recent survey by the American College Health Association (ACHA), 60% of students experienced overwhelming anxiety while 40% of students experienced severe depression that kept them from functioning normally. Student suicide rates are also up by 51% since 2010.
In addition to mental health tribulations, students have always faced illnesses like meningitis, the flu, mono, the common cold, and various sexually transmitted diseases. That’s not to mention health-harming incidents like vehicular accidents.
To make matters worse, many students have not been taught how to live healthy lifestyles. This leads to many students practicing poor sleeping, eating, and exercising habits, setting them up for potential health problems in the future.
To help students across the country live healthier lives, colleges and universities have a chance to enact lasting change by offering a personalized health insurance experience and options.
Let’s take a more detailed look into what one of these plans might look like, and how offering a tailored health program can help your campus thrive.
What is a Personalized Health Insurance Experience for Students?
The primary goal of a personalized health insurance experience is to help students keep their healthcare costs in check while providing them with the resources and care needed to maintain optimum health.
Having a competitive student insurance plan available ensures more students arrive on campus with adequate health insurance, which is a major concern of college administrators. Students are afforded the option to choose a plan that is tailored toward the university demographic, an individual plan, or they may be eligible for a group plan through a parent or spouse.
How Does a Student Health Insurance Plan Compare to an ACA Marketplace Plan?
A student health insurance plan allows students to evaluate the plan design and network to determine if it provides coverage and convenient access to the benefits they will utilize most often. A person with chronic health issues like asthma or diabetes will need distinct coverage from an individual who is otherwise healthy. An ACA marketplace plan offers generalized care with benefits designed to fit most people, leading to a potential mismatch.
Student health insurance plans are designed to be affordable for individuals starting from scratch. They are made to be more affordable than the average plan on the ACA marketplace, which is good news for students who are traditionally low on resources. In fact, some parents find that signing their children up for a campus student health insurance plan is less expensive than adding the child as a dependent on their own health plans.
Nationwide Provider Network
A prime benefit of customized student health plans is the availability of in-network healthcare providers and pharmacies nationwide. This gives students access to personalized medicine and adequate care no matter how far away they are from campus. ACA marketplace networks don’t always cast as wide a net when listing their in-network healthcare services.
A good majority of tailored student insurance plans now include discount programs. By enrolling in a plan, students earn savings on a wide range of health and wellness products and services, like dental care, vision care, vitamins, and books. ACA marketplace plans often give you coverage and little else as a side benefit.
With a campus-wide insurance program, your campus will be sure to thrive. That means students will have the tools they need to manage their intellectual, psychological, and interpersonal well-being while enrolled in your college. It is the synergistic coming together of all those elements that leads to improved academic performance, better future prospects for students, and higher enrollment each semester.
Patch Up the Uninsured Gaps
The age cut-off for students to remain as dependents on their parents’ health insurance plans ensures that young people get the affordable healthcare they need when a college or university health plan is not available. But what about those who turn 26 and don’t have a student health plan to turn to? Many of these individuals may go without insurance and stay uninsured into adulthood.
According to a 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), young people aged 19 to 34 had the highest uninsured rates out of any other group in the U.S.
This is your chance to help all students achieve insured status. Because not having health insurance can be detrimental to one’s academic success. A lack of insurance or poor coverage can lead to untreated illness and financial stress that doesn’t bode well for higher learning excellence. This is why giving students access to a health program where they call the shots allows them to live up to their true potential.
Improved Academic Performance
Health and academic achievement are intrinsically linked. The healthier students are, the better they tend to perform in school.
When students lack health insurance or possess inadequate insurance coverage, disaster could strike at any time. We mentioned a few ailments that students are susceptible to, but we failed to mention other risks to their health like alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, ADHD, relationship violence, and mumps (which is making a comeback in young adults).
Without adequate coverage, a student facing any of the above could also experience high medical bills and poorer health outcomes. This could lead to the student being unable to cover tuition or being so concerned over medical debt that they end up struggling academically.
On the flip side of the coin is a personalized health insurance plan, which would allow the student to keep healthcare costs in check, thereby contributing to a healthier environment more conducive to learning.
Students have enough to worry about with regards to their heavy course loads and hours of intense study. Not having to worry about health concerns or medical debt is one of the best ways to ensure students have the best advantages personally, psychologically, and academically.
Prop Students Up for Financial Success
Improving health literacy and student engagement in health services can give your entire student body an edge when navigating the complex U.S. healthcare system.
Without health insurance and even with inadequate coverage, students will get a cold-water reality check the first time they have to see the doctor for a sore throat, broken arm, or a sexually transmitted disease. They might find the process stressful and overly complicated. Uninsured students may also face exorbitant prescription drug prices, which can lead some to forgo their medications entirely. That’s not to mention the prohibitive cost of care that could have otherwise been subsidized by an effective student health insurance plan.
To cut to the chase, college and university students have a difficult enough time paying for tuition payments, rent, groceries, and entertainment. Add uninsured health care to the mix and you have a recipe for a financial calamity that could extend into their post-graduation future.
With a personalized health insurance plan, students will have an easier time visiting the doctor or seeking emergency care when needed. Some institutions take things a bit further by incorporating campus-wide services with their student health insurance plan offerings. In this way, health becomes a priority for students and staff alike, which contributes to a healthier, more successful campus.
With this sort of campus health program, students may have telemedicine services they can turn to for immediate health care as the need arises. In-service providers both on and off-campus usher the student through an uncomplicated process of care, preventing unnecessary stress. Telemedicine offers personalized medicine similar to an in-person doctor visit. Many minor ailments like the common cold can be dealt with at the campus pharmacy, while follow-up care and emergency services can be managed at on-campus and off-campus locations within the network of providers.
The student finds the process seamless, from doctor and diagnostics to pharmacy and emergency care. And the low-cost affordability of health that comes with a customized student health insurance plan program gives students a head-start in life they might not have had with little to no insurance coverage.
Make Your College or University More Attractive for Enrollees
Picture a student applying to two colleges, one of which includes yours. The other institution offers a customized health insurance plan and comprehensive campus services that make staying healthy easy and stress-free.
Which place of higher learning will the student choose: Your college with a template-based health insurance program or the latter college, with a tailored student health insurance plan for every student, including domestic students, part-time, and international students?
The decision would not be a difficult one to make. By having a customized campus health solution available for students, you can improve enrollment rates. A campus health program that makes education, early intervention, and ease of care a priority will be attractive to anyone seeking a more prosperous future.
Use Data Analytics to Customize Your Healthcare Options
Customizing your current insurance offerings becomes easier once you become cognizant of your students’ needs. This is where data analytics provides deep insight that allows you to customize your student health insurance plan program to an intuitive degree.
Consumer-Driven Health Care
A comprehensive campus healthcare system will provide a wide range of data, allowing college administrators to identify areas where healthcare is needed most. During a time when the dire need for mental health care for students is taking center stage, data from a customized campus health program can ensure no student goes unnoticed, and that all students get the affordable health care they need.
Every student is different and continuous amounts of data arriving from students making use of your program give you additional insights that can be used to tweak your student health insurance plan, making it even more personalized for current and incoming students.
Would you like a campus health program like this? One that will improve your students’ academic performance, set them up for a better future, and make your university or college more attractive for enrollees? If so, HORAN can give you the campus health program you need to set your institution apart.
Why Choose HORAN as Your Campus Health Care Broker?
As one of the leading insurance providers in the nation, we have helped colleges and universities like yours respond to the ever-growing needs of their students with campus-wide health programs that contribute to long-lasting, positive change.
We use data to develop consumer-based health care programs that offer personalized health plans for each student. With better data, we give you better decision-making and less burden on administrative services. Get a campus health solution that helps your students attain better health and a more successful future.