5 Health Insurance For College Kids In 2024 | Pros & Cons

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Lori Pace

Students have many options when it comes to healthcare insurance. You can also choose to join your parents’ insurance plan or insurance options that are offered by colleges. Let’s figure out the pros and cons of 5 best health insurance for college kids in 2022.

Which Health Insurance Is Best For Students In USA?

Before going to the 5 best health insurance plans for international students in the USA, here are some other insurance that you can consider:

  • ExchangeGuard. Offers COVID-19 coverage.
  • Patriot Exchange Program. Offers COVID-19 coverage.
  • Student Secure. Offers COVID-19 coverage.
  • Student Health Advantage. Offers COVID-19 coverage.
  • Study USA. Offers COVID-19 coverage.
  • Navigator Student. No COVID-19 coverage.
  • Patriot America. No COVID-19 coverage.

5 Health Insurance For College Kids In 2024

1 – Cigna: Best Overall

This insurance is the best choice for college students looking to purchase health insurance. Cigna offers a wide range of coverage and is affordable. Cigna policyholders receive financial assistance along with their premiums. More than half of them have to pay less than $100 a month.

Cigna offers college students health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. It also provides subsidies to help make insurance more affordable. According to a company report, 75% of policyholders are eligible for financial aid. Cigna’s health insurance is a great choice for students because it has a low price and offers a lot of benefits.


  • Comprehensive coverage options
  • Some students may qualify for premium subsidies
  • Free preventative care
  • Low-cost virtual care


  • Subsidies may not be available if you’re a dependent
  • You may need to find a new healthcare provider

Cigna offers a variety of tiers for health insurance, from bronze to premium. The cheapest Bronze plan is the most basic, while the platinum plans offer a lower monthly premium and have low deductibles. All Cigna plans include 50 preventive health benefits, including annual screenings, flu shots, and health screenings.

college kid
Be careful when considerate different health insurance for college kids.

Noticeably, when you purchase Cigna’s insurance, you can choose between HMO plans where you have to stay within the network or PPO plans which give you more flexibility. You may have to change healthcare providers depending on the plan you purchase.

Cigna offers health insurance plans for college students. You can purchase it through the official website or through Healthcare Gov page.

2 – Aetna: Best For Low-income

Aetna offers low-income students the best health insurance. College students are now can afford extensive coverage for major emergencies.

The federal health insurance market allows you to easily purchase a catastrophic plan. Students can enjoy a low monthly premium, which is convenient and helpful. Aetna has won numerous awards for its wide range of services and is a well-respected company.


  • Low premium rates
  • Preventive and primary care coverage is available for no cost
  • Financial help for emergencies 


  • High monthly deductibles
  • Not all states offers this insurance

The Aetna catastrophic plan includes flu shots and health screenings. You also get three visits free to a primary physician within a year. The Aetna catastrophic insurance policy has a high deductible (around US$ 8,550 by 2021), but the extensive coverage it offers against major medical emergencies that could cost thousands of dollars is well worth the extra expense.

Important to know that the Aetna catastrophe insurance plan is not eligible to receive premium tax credit subsidy. The policyholder must pay the monthly premiums themselves.

The Aetna catastrophic policy is a great option for basic insurance at a reasonable price. So, if you’re a college student who is not eligible for Medicaid or similar subsidized policies, consider this insurance.

3 – Everest: Best Short-Term Health Insurance For College Kids

Everest Insurance is the best option for college students who are looking for short-term insurance. Everest gives you the freedom to choose from a variety of providers and offers wellness benefits that include preventive care.


  • Affordable copay
  • Coinsurance at a low cost
  • Maximum coverage offered with multiple options
  • No-cost trial period


  • Prescription drug coverage is not included
  • Not cover pre-existing conditions
  • Not all states offer this insurance

Short-term insurance can be an excellent option for college students, especially if it is not conventional health insurance. It is a perfect way for students to get temporary coverage at a very affordable price compared to traditional insurance plans. College students can choose from:

  • A range of deductibles between 1000 USD and 10,000 USD
  • OR copay options that range between 30 USD to 50 USD
  • OR select your coverage limit between 250,000 USD to 1.5m USD

This allows you to keep within your tight monthly budget while still being a student. Everest is a great option for college students because of its affordable copay, codeductible, and coinsurance options.

4 – IMG: Best For International Students

If you’re an international student studying in the United States, IMG should be your top pick due to its multiple plan options. Getting quality health insurance is essential, especially when you become ill or are in an accident.


  • Plans can reach as high as $8 million
  • Multiple add-ons and riders available
  • Includes prescription drug coverage


  • Waiting periods for pre-existing conditions may apply
  • Lower-tier options do not comply with J1 and J2 visa requirements

IMG allows you to add different coverage options and riders to your policy for an additional cost. You can protect yourself from the loss or theft of your baggage, valuables, and personal papers with add-on coverage. It also provides personal liability protection. Depending on policy type, location, and other factors, these additional coverages may vary.

The adventure sports rider provides coverage if you engage in dangerous sports, such as bobsledding, parachuting, whitewater kayaking, or windsurfing. You can pick a limit ranging from $50,000 to $8 million depending on your insurance plan. However, you should know that the J1 and J2 visas require a minimum of $100,000 of coverage.

IMG’s parent has an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best despite not being included in the J.D. Power Commercial Member Health Plan Study.

5 – School-Offered Health Insurance For College Kids: Best For Convenience

If you don’t want to be overburdened by insurance options, school-offered insurance plans are our top pick for you.


  • You can pay your premiums with financial aid
  • On-campus health centers accept these coverage
  • Cheaper than outside policies


  • Limited coverage options
  • May require full-time student status to be qualified
  • May not be able to keep current healthcare providers

School-provided insurance policies are significantly cheaper than the average annual premium for an individual with non-school coverage. Typically it costs about $1,500 to $2,500 per year.

You can pay for your school insurance premiums using financial aid as it typically included in your tuition and fee. It is very convenient if you are sick because student health centers on-campus accept this coverage.

However, in terms of coverage options and networks, school plans can vary widely. You may not be able to customize the plan or visit your current healthcare providers if they are not in-network. Additionally, you may have to be a full-time student to keep your plan.

Despite its disadvantages, school-provided insurance are a good choice for students looking for an affordable option with an easy enrollment process.

Considering Health Insurance For College Kids

Considering Health Insurance For College Kids

When you’re a student, health insurance is not a priority to you. However, as a student, you should understand the importance and benefits of health insurance. A lack of health insurance can increase your debt. According to surveys, approximately 30% of young adults do not have insurance, which can put them at risk of incurring high medical debts.

These are the three best options for college students looking for health insurance in the US. Talk to an existing customer to learn more about these insurance companies’ individual benefits and advantages.

If you are an autistic college student, you may find further useful information about Scholarship and Grants besides this article.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!