Today is Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017

Department of

Health Benefits 101

Knowing details about your health insurance plan is beneficial to you and your pocket when it comes to managing your health as a student.   Do you know what type of health insurance plan you have or should purchase?  If your answer is no, it’s time to brush up on some basics!

 
  • I’m generally healthy. Why is having health insurance so important?
    Health insurance safeguards you from considerable costs of hospital stays, surgical procedures, doctor visits, prescriptions, and preventive care.   Unfortunately accidents and illness do happen. Even a minor illness or injury could create a major financial burden that could greatly impact your success at college.  Preventive care, including screening tests that detect health problems in earlier, more treatable stages, are covered by most insurance plans.  Planning for your future should include both your academic success and your health.
     
  • As a college student, what I should look for when purchasing an insurance plan? 
    There are basics that you can look for in an insurance plan that will benefit you as a UC student. Does your plan offer coverage for providers and hospital facilities in the Cincinnati area? Does your plan offer reasonable co-pay or co-insurance for doctor visits?  Do you have any plans to study abroad? Will your plan cover travel-related health care? As a college student, it is important to choose an insurance plan that not only fits you best, but that also offers monetary savings and convenience. 

  • What other options are important to explore? 
    Just as your physical wellness is important, so is your mental wellness. Most health plans cover behavioral health, but the deductible, copayment, and co-insurance amounts may be higher than you’d expect.  Do you see any specialists, like an orthopedist? Will you need an allergist, dermatologist, or endocrinologist? If so, do you know how your plan works in Cincinnati and whether or not you need a referral?

  • Acronyms like HMO, PPO, and POS can be confusing. What do they mean? 
    HMO, PPO, and POS are all different types of managed care plans which are characterized by having a network of physicians and hospitals. If you pick a provider or hospital that is listed in the network, your out of pocket expenses are lower. If you see a doctor that is not in-network, however, you might be shocked when you get your bill. It’s always smart to check out the details of your plan before making an appointment.

  • CDHPs -- what is this? 
    Consumer directed or consumer choice plans (CDHP) give the consumer more control over health care spending. Consumers are given a type of health account that you can draw on to pay for qualified medical expenses. The plan will usually have high upfront deductible costs before covering major medical expenses. This means that you would be responsible to pay such things as doctor visits, testing, and hospital stays until you have reached the agreed deductible costs. 

  • Will University Health Services (UHS) accept my insurance card?
    University Health Services does accept most insurance plans, however, it is always recommended that you check with your insurance company to verify that University Health Services is in your network. Since UHS serves only students and employees of the University of Cincinnati you will not find UHS listed on any “how to find a provider” insurance web site. We will be listed as University of Cincinnati Physicians Company.  If your insurance covers University of Cincinnati Physicians Company, then you can be seen using your insurance coverage at UHS.