|MILWAUKEE -- Graduation day is just around the corner, but it's the parents of these young students who still need remedial education on whether their health plans cover their children and the options now available for short-term medical insurance.
Findings from a recent national survey of college parents revealed that only 23 percent were highly confident that their adult children would immediately find a job after college that provides health insurance. Yet, fewer than one in three were aware that they could buy short-term medical insurance for these young adults for as little as $50 per month.
The research was conducted by College Parents of America and Assurant Health. It reaffirmed the results of a previous Assurant Health survey that showed 40 percent of parents mistakenly believed that adult children (ages 21 - 24) living at home were covered under their health insurance plans.
"We hope this sends a wake-up call to the tens of thousands of parents who do not realize they may be at great financial risk right after their children graduate," said James A. Boyle, founder and president of College Parents of America, the only national membership association dedicated to advocating and serving on behalf of current and future college parents.
Some of the survey's other findings included:
- 20 percent of parents have no idea when their health insurance will no longer cover their college-age children.
- Most believe that short-term health insurance for a healthy young adult costs more than $100/month, when in fact such policies can be obtained for as little as $50/month.
- 68 percent of the parents were not even aware of the availability of short-term health insurance, which typically offers coverage for periods ranging from one to six months.
"Other studies show that about 40 percent of young adults are uninsured at some time during the year following their graduation," said David Andrews, Vice President, Product Management, Short Term Medical for Assurant Health. "With college expenses so high, the last thing parents and their children need is to get hit with unexpected medical bills."
According to Assurant Health data, a climbing accident could result in more than $450,000 in medical expenses, while a case of pneumonia can cost $75,000. One Assurant Health policyholder suffered a spinal cord injury that cost $623,000 to treat, yet paid only $266.40 for six months of short-term coverage.
Assurant Health offered the country's first Short Term Medical Plan in 1973 and is the leading provider of temporary health insurance.
The survey was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of college parents in March 2006, and its results carry a 95% confidence with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
About Assurant Health
In business since 1892, Assurant Health provides health insurance coverage for more than one million people nationwide. Assurant Health develops and provides a wide range of individual medical, small group, short-term and student health insurance products, as well as non-insurance products. Assurant Health also provides consumer-choice products such as Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements. With almost 3,000 employees, Assurant Health is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., and has operations offices in Minnesota, Idaho, and Florida, as well as sales offices across the country. Assurant Health products are issued and underwritten by Fortis Insurance Company, John Alden Life Insurance Company and Fortis Benefits Insurance Company. The Assurant Health Web site is www.assuranthealth.com.
Assurant Health is part of Assurant, a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and selected other markets. Its five key business units -- Assurant Employee Benefits, Assurant Health, Assurant Preneed, Assurant Solutions and Assurant Specialty Property -- have partnered with clients who are leaders in their industries and have built leadership positions in a number of specialty market segments in the U.S. and selected international markets. Assurant is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ.
About College Parents of America
College Parents of America is the nation's only membership organization dedicated to advocating for and providing practical information to parents of current and college-bound students. Based in Arlington, Virginia, it also provides discounts on a broad variety of educational and consumer products to help members save money while their children prepare for, apply to and make the transition to college. The College Parents of America Web site is www.collegeparents.org.