The Best Health Insurance Plans for Nursing Students in 2024


The importance of health insurance cannot be overstated and in most countries, it is compulsory to have a health insurance plan. For nursing students, it is crucial to research and go for the best health insurance plans that would suit their specific needs. Having health insurance will give them the opportunity to focus on their education without the added distraction or worry about their overall well-being.

The Importance of Health Insurance for Nursing Students

  1. Access to Comprehensive Healthcare: Health insurance provides nursing students with access to comprehensive healthcare services, ensuring they can receive medical attention, preventive care, and necessary treatments. This is particularly important in a demanding academic and clinical environment where well-being is paramount.
  2. Financial Protection: Medical expenses can be significant, and health insurance serves as a financial safety net for nursing students. It helps cover the costs of doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medications, and other healthcare services, reducing the financial burden on students and their families.
  3. Health insurance often includes coverage for preventive services, encouraging nursing students to adopt a proactive approach to their health. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings can contribute to early detection and intervention, promoting a healthier lifestyle.
  4. Mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, and health insurance may include coverage for mental health services. Given the stressors associated with nursing education and clinical experiences, having access to mental health support is invaluable for nursing students.

Options for Health Insurance for Nursing Students

  1. University-Sponsored Plans: Many universities offer health insurance plans specifically designed for students. These plans may provide comprehensive coverage and are often convenient for nursing students, as the enrollment process is streamlined through the university.
  2. Parental or Guardian Coverage: Dependent students may be eligible for coverage under their parents’ or guardians’ health insurance plans. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows children to remain on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, providing an option for nursing students who fall within this age range.
  3. Individual Marketplace Plans: Nursing students who do not qualify for university-sponsored plans or parental coverage can explore individual health insurance plans available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace, established under the ACA, offers a range of plans with different coverage levels and costs.
  4. Medicaid: Nursing students with limited income may qualify for Medicaid, a state and federally funded program that provides health coverage to eligible individuals. Medicaid eligibility criteria vary by state, and students should check their state’s Medicaid program for specific requirements.
  5. COBRA Coverage: Students who were previously covered under an employer-sponsored health plan, such as through a previous job, may have the option to continue coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). This allows individuals to maintain their existing coverage for a limited period, but the cost is often higher as the individual assumes the full premium.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Health Insurance

  • Coverage Scope: Nursing students should carefully review the coverage scope of health insurance plans. This includes understanding what services are covered, the extent of coverage for medications and treatments, and any limitations or exclusions that may apply.
  • Network Providers: Consideration of the network of healthcare providers is crucial. Students should ensure that the health insurance plan includes coverage for services provided by healthcare professionals and facilities they may need, especially if they have specific healthcare providers they prefer.
  • Premiums, Deductibles, and Co-Payments: Understanding the financial aspects of the health insurance plan is essential. This includes the monthly premium, the amount of the deductible (the out-of-pocket amount before insurance coverage begins), and co-payment or co-insurance requirements for specific services.
  • Prescription Drug Coverage: Nursing students requiring regular medications should assess the prescription drug coverage offered by the health insurance plan. This involves understanding the cost of medications, whether they are covered, and any requirements for obtaining prescriptions.
  • Mental Health Coverage: Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being, and nursing students should ensure that the health insurance plan provides adequate coverage for mental health services. This may include counseling, therapy, and other mental health resources.
  • Flexibility and Portability: Nursing students should consider the flexibility and portability of the health insurance plan. This is particularly important if students may relocate for clinical rotations, internships, or post-graduation employment. Plans that offer nationwide coverage or have a broad network can be advantageous.

Top 10 health insurance providers for nursing students

Here are some reputable health insurance providers that are often considered suitable for nursing students:

  1. UnitedHealthcare: UnitedHealthcare is one of the largest health insurance providers in the United States. They offer a range of plans, including student health insurance options. UnitedHealthcare provides access to a broad network of healthcare providers and offers various coverage options tailored to students’ needs.
  2. Aetna: Aetna, a subsidiary of CVS Health, offers health insurance plans with a focus on preventive care and wellness. They provide a variety of coverage options, including student health insurance plans that cater to the specific needs of students, including nursing students.
  3. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS): Blue Cross Blue Shield is a federation of independent health insurance providers, offering plans across the country. Many states have their own BCBS plans, providing flexibility and diverse coverage options. BCBS plans often include a wide network of healthcare providers.
  4. Cigna: Cigna is a global health service company offering health insurance plans with an emphasis on preventive care and well-being. They provide various plans suitable for students, including international students, and offer access to an extensive network of healthcare professionals.
  5. Kaiser Permanente: Kaiser Permanente is known for its integrated healthcare delivery system, providing both insurance coverage and healthcare services. They have a strong presence in certain regions, offering comprehensive plans with a focus on preventive care, which can be beneficial for nursing students.
  6. Humana: Humana offers health insurance plans with a focus on consumer-centered healthcare. They provide a range of plans suitable for students, with options that include wellness programs and access to a network of healthcare providers.
  7. Aetna Student Health (Now part of CVS Health): Aetna Student Health, now part of CVS Health, specifically caters to the healthcare needs of students. They offer student health insurance plans for various educational institutions, providing coverage for medical, mental health, and preventive services.
  8. Wellfleet: Wellfleet specializes in providing student health insurance plans for colleges and universities. They offer coverage options that include medical, mental health, and prescription drug benefits, aiming to meet the unique healthcare needs of students, including nursing students.
  9. Student Assurance Services (SAS): SAS focuses on providing student health insurance plans for educational institutions. They offer customizable plans designed to meet the health and wellness needs of students, including coverage for medical and mental health services.
  10. GeoBlue: GeoBlue specializes in international health insurance and may be suitable for nursing students engaged in international programs or studying abroad. They offer comprehensive coverage for medical emergencies and routine care outside the United States.
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