Before you leave for college in New Hampshire with your mini fridge and ramen noodles, make sure you have health insurance. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you’re packing for school, but it’s important.
Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that you can stay on your parent’s plan until you reach age 26, you may not have adequate coverage if you don’t already live in New Hampshire. And since most schools in the state require health insurance coverage, you had better do your homework.
What You Need to Know:
Most New Hampshire colleges and universities require students to have health insurance.
Schools that require health insurance offer their own student health plans.
Unless you get a waiver, most schools will automatically enroll you in their student health insurance plans.
Why New Hampshire Students Need Health Insurance
Illness and injury can happen to anyone, even the young and healthy. Most New Hampshire schools require students to have a comprehensive health plan to avoid potentially crushing medical expenses.
Will You Attend School In-State or Out-of-State?
If you’re a New Hampshire resident attending a New Hampshire school, it’s likely that your current insurance coverage will allow you to see providers near your school.
If you’re a resident of another state coming to New Hampshire to study, your current insurance plan may not cover the providers and services you might need.
Can Someone Claim You as a Dependent?
If someone can claim you as a dependent on their income tax return, you are part of their household. When you apply for an ACA plan or a government plan, you must include their income as well as yours on the application.
Will You Stay on Your Parent’s Health Insurance Plan or Enroll in Your Own Plan?
Staying on your parent’s plan may cost little or nothing. But if you will be an out-of-state student, make sure there are providers near campus who take your insurance. If not, you may want to purchase your own plan in New Hampshire.
Stick With Mom and Dad
You can stay on your parent’s plan until you’re 26.
What Plans Are Cheaper?
When deciding which plan might be best for you, be sure to look closely at all the costs of health insurance, which include:
- Premiums: the annual cost to have insurance, paid monthly.
- Deductible: the amount you must spend before your plan starts to contribute toward your healthcare expenses.
- Copayments: for doctor’s office visits and/or medication.
- Coinsurance: your share of a payment against a claim, which kicks in after you’ve met your deductible.
What Plans Offer Better Coverage?
To determine if a plan has the coverage you need, start by answering these questions:
- Are there in-network providers within easy access of where you’ll be going to school?
- Is there prescription drug coverage?
- Are mental health services and preventive care covered?
- Do you have a medical condition that requires frequent treatment and/or medication?
What If You Skip Health Insurance Coverage?
At most New Hampshire colleges and universities, you can’t skip coverage if you’re a full-time student.
How to Get Covered Under Your Parent’s Plan in New Hampshire
The ACA requires insurance plans and companies to offer coverage for children up to age 26. If you go to college in New Hampshire and your parents live in a different state, make sure their plan includes in-network providers near your campus.
How to Get Covered Under Your School Plan in New Hampshire
Check your school’s website. It’s the best place to go for information about health insurance requirements, application deadlines, waiver forms, and the student health benefits plan.
The University of New Hampshire system, Southern New Hampshire University and Dartmouth College all require students to have health insurance as a condition of enrollment.
Coming From Out of State?
Your parent’s plan may not give you the coverage you need, especially if you’re an out-of-state student.
How to Get Covered through the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire
New Hampshire participates in the federally facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace. The 2021 monthly premiums for New Hampshire ACA plans ranged from $247 to $363, depending on plan level
.2 Use this calculator to see if you qualify for a subsidy.
Your parents can add you to their Obamacare plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period, or you can apply on your own for coverage in New Hampshire. Moving to New Hampshire for college may also qualify you to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period.
Depending on your age and dependency status, you will apply with your parents or on your own.
Apply with parents:
If you are under age 26, you parents can include you on their application
Apply on your own:
If you are over age 26 or are moving to New Hampshire for school, you will apply for your own individual plan.
If you’re under 26 and someone claims you as a dependent on their tax return, you will include their income in addition to yours on the application. If no one claims you as a dependent, only include your income.
How to Get Covered through Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) in New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s Medicaid program is open to low-income pregnant women, children and their parents, disabled individuals, and those age 65 and older. The current income threshold is less than $16,971 for a household of one person.3
The state’s Granite Advantage Health Care Program expands Medicaid eligibility to adults age 19 to 64 who are not eligible for traditional Medicaid and fall under certain income limits. There is also a work/community engagement requirement of 100 hours per month to maintain coverage.4
CHIP coverage is available for children through the age of 18 whose family income exceeds Medicaid limits but who can’t afford insurance.
Applications for Medicaid, Granite Advantage and CHIP are handled via the NH Easy Gateway to Services.
What Are Other Options for Coverage in New Hampshire?
Catastrophic health insurance plans have low premiums but high deductibles. People under the age of 30 are eligible to apply for a catastrophic plan.
Short-term health insurance plans are limited to six months in New Hampshire. You must reapply to your insurer for a new short-term plan at the end of each six-month period. There is a maximum of 540 days of short-term coverage within the preceding 24 months.5 Short-term health insurance plans are not required to cover preexisting conditions or essential health benefits.
Resources for New Hampshire Students
Granite Advantage Eligibility – pre-screening tool for Granite Advantage Medicaid expansion program.
Healthcare.gov – provides information about ACA plans, coverage, eligibility requirements and enrollment applications.
NH HealthCost – provides a tool to compare the cost of outpatient healthcare services in the state by provider and by insurance plan.
New Hampshire Medicaid – provides information about eligibility and covered services.
Having health insurance coverage is wise, which is why most New Hampshire colleges and universities require it and why they provide affordable plans as an option. Figure out which health insurance in New Hampshire works best for you, then rest easy knowing that if an illness or injury strikes, it has you covered.