Once we reach our third and fourth year of dental school, many of us turn 26 and face being removed from our parents’ health insurance plans. With the rising cost of health insurance, a significant financial burden is placed on students with few resources easily available to find affordable coverage. To make it even more confusing, insurance laws and regulations vary from state to state.
Medicaid was introduced for low-income adults and families that fall below a specific income threshold. This is different from traditional health insurance, which is usually offered through an employer. By offering insurance plans through the workplace, people can get a better rate on more substantial plans since they are considered part of a group purchase. This is likely the type of plan covering most dental students if they benefitted from their parents’ plan. Private insurance plans can be purchased outside of an employer, but these usually cost more.
As a full-time dental student with ever-mounting debt, where do you fall? If you are like most dental students, there is no time for a full-time job with benefits while wading through didactic and clinicals. Therefore, this scratches off employer-sponsored plans for most. Do you qualify for Medicaid? In most states, graduate students are ineligible for state-sponsored insurance plans without meeting specific requirements such as having small children or being pregnant.
Finish reading this article in the November/December issue of Contour magazine.
~Taylor Little, Missouri-Kirksville ’21