Written by Courtney Waggoner,  CMC, CMIS, CMCO, Patient Services Manager

I am young, healthy, and hardly ever go to the doctor, so why do I need health insurance?

Besides being a requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for U.S. Citizens and Federal Regulations for F1 and J1 visa holders, it is essential for students to understand why health insurance is important.

The purpose of health insurance is to help you cover costs for your medical care. It is protection for you financially when a sudden injury or a serious illness happens.  Most insurance plans also cover preventive care and prescription medications to keep you in good health and address any medical issues or concerns early. This helps you to also reduce your medical expenses.

One example of how having medical insurance is beneficial is when you have to seek emergency care. An emergency room visit at the local hospital can easily be $1800 for a minor issue or up to $10,000 or more for a major accident. With health insurance, your cost is greatly reduced not only by your insurance company’s payment (about 80%) but by providing additional insurance/network discounts. So your total out-of-pocket expenses are reduced.

Below is an example of an injury of the foot:

ER Facility Fee: $1,000
Supplies: $500
X-Rays: $700
Total: $2,200

Total: $2,200
Insurance Discounts: ($500)
Insurance Payment: ($1,360)
Patient Portion (20%): $340*

*This example does not take into account any deductibles that the patient may need to meet prior to this coverage.

So, you can see the benefits and peace of mind that having health insurance offers.

The Texas A&M University System encourages all students to have health insurance and sponsors a Student Health Insurance Plan for all system students enrolled in at least 6 credit hours or 1 credit hour but considered a full time student. To find more information on the TAMU Student Plan, visit tamu.myahpcare.com.

To speak with a SHS representative regarding health insurance and how it can apply to Student Health Services, please call (979) 458-8310.