For Graduating Students
Your USC student health insurance plan coverage ceases shortly after graduation. We would like to share some possible health care options available to you, if you so choose.
Engemann Student Health Center
If you are a University Park Campus student who is graduating with a diploma and you wish to continue to have access to the Engemann Student Health Center on the University Park Campus, you may purchase this service for the Summer immediately following graduation (Spring graduates may purchase Summer only, Summer graduates may purchase Fall only, Fall graduates may purchase Spring only). By paying the Student Health Center fee you will continue to have access to the services at the Engemann Student Health Center through the end of your eligible period.
Payment of this fee can be made at the cashier’s office located at the Engemann Student Health Center. Students who elect to pay this health fee must have third party medical insurance coverage. To sign up for this service, you must contact the cashier’s office at the Engemann Student Health Center and present proof of insurance prior to your first visit after graduation, at (213) 740-0238.
Student Health Insurance Coverage
Aetna Student Health offers continuation coverage to graduated students after the coverage period in which you graduate ends. This coverage can continue for up to six months, depending on your needs. To inquire about premium cost and payment options, you must contact Aetna at (877) 626-2299 no later than 30 days after your current coverage ends. The best time to contact them would be in July, before your current coverage ends in August. Or, in December before your current coverage ends in January.
In an effort to assist you in shopping and comparing other insurance products to purchase after your USC student insurance ends, here is a list of places to inquire about health coverage. When shopping, be sure to inquire with each health plan for important information regarding out-of-pocket expenses, exclusions (such as maternity, well baby care, mental health coverage, etc). Also find out if there are pre-existing condition restrictions, referral restrictions, etc. You may want to check to see if your doctors accept the insurance you are thinking of purchasing and know what pharmacy benefits you will have. Also check to see which area hospitals accept the plan, so you are as prepared as possible.
http://www.Ehealthinsurance.com and http://digitalinsurance.com are both websites where you can search for products. California is a large state with a highly competitive health-insurance market and no community-rating or guaranteed-issue laws and is also friendly to individuals who are in good health. You can find several options online through these websites.
Visit Your State Insurance Department’s Website
You’ll most likely find a list of companies selling individual coverage in your state, including those that aren’t handled by brokers, as well as information on how current insurance reform legislation will affect coverage in your state. For example, many BlueCross/BlueShield plans — often one of the few choices available in highly restrictive states — prefer to deal directly with customers, or offer such low commissions that they aren’t worth a broker’s time. The insurance department may provide shopping tips for your state, as well as insurance-company complaint records. The California Department of Insurance’s website is http://www.insurance.ca.gov and you will find similar websites available for your state.
Consider taking advantage of federal COBRA legislation if you have left a company that provided group coverage. If your previous employer has 20 or more employees, the company is required by law to let you continue your group coverage for up to 18 months. Some states have similar laws for smaller employers. You generally foot the entire bill yourself, plus up to 2% in administrative charges, which can increase your costs considerably. COBRA coverage tends to be a good deal if you’re in poor health or in a market with few choices.
Or You Can Find a Broker
Finding a broker can be a task in itself. Many life- and auto-insurance agents don’t deal in health insurance because the rules are complicated and the commission’s low. But they may be able to refer you to a specialist. The National Association of Health Underwriters can also put you in touch with member agents in your area.
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