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Low Cost Student Health Insurance Plans In Pennsylvania – Compare Options

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Low cost student health insurance coverage in Pennsylvania is very easy to purchase.  We help you find quality plans (both on and off the Marketplace) through all of the major insurers such as Aetna, UnitedHealthCare, UPMC, Coventry Highmark BCBS, Capital BC, Keystone, Independence Blue Cross, Geisinger, and many other providers.  Sometimes, University policies don’t provide the specific benefits that you want, or feature the low rates that you need to fit within your budget.

We show you flexible policies that keep rates affordable, but also give you top-notch coverage that you can use almost everywhere. All policy options are Affordable Care Act-compliant and contain all required essential health benefits (required by Obamacare legislation) including maternity, mental health, prescriptions, ER, office visits, hospital and many others. You can accept a federal subsidy (if available), or choose a private policy that receives no federal aid.

Provider Networks are often larger when you purchase your own policy. A wide variety of specialists are generally available for specific treatment. If traveling outside of the Keystone State, major medical, preventative, and routine medical expenses can be covered. Emergency treatment away from home is also covered, including the ER and Urgent Care facilities.

Best Available Rates

Any Pennsylvania student rates you view on this website have our “best price” approval. You can apply for these plans either online or by going direct. If you’re a recent graduate from a Pa school, you can also purchase inexpensive short-term coverage, or if you are away from home, there are many additional options. If you are taking part-time hours, you still are eligible. Since most policies are generic, adults taking part-time or full-time classes can also purchase these types of contracts.

If you are planning on studying abroad, there are specialty plans that will be much better-suited for the type of international needs you will have. These policies will allow you to receive treatment (including emergencies) in the countries you are visiting, including paying medical bills you incur back in the US until you enroll in a conventional plan.  Evacuation expenses can also be covered. Once you return to the US, however, more traditional and conventional plans should be chosen.

Which Schools

Most Pennsylvania colleges and universities (Penn State, Pitt, Temple, Duquesne, Penn, LaSalle, Slippery Rock, Villanova, Lehigh etc…) require their students to have comprehensive health insurance, either through a parent’s plan, their own university policy, or an individual plan. If you are not eligible for affordable coverage under a parent’s private or employer-sponsored benefit, then buying your own policy from one of the major companies should be considered. Regardless if you qualify for a financial subsidy, prices will be inexpensive, and pre-existing conditions will be covered (assuming you have previously met Open Enrollment guidelines).

Or, if your school plan is too expensive, you may be able to save money when you buy a private policy. If you are attending a college in another state, it’s important to understand that some plans may limit where you receive treatment (such as an HMO). A PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) is much more likely to allow you to seek treatment away from campus. Routine medical situations can often  be treated at an on-campus facility.

Best Student Health Insurance Prices In Pa

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Having a large choice of Network medical facilities, physicians and specialists is extremely important, especially if you attend an out-of-state school. Student health plans purchased through a university could limit the type of care you receive and where you can go to receive the treatment. This may become very evident  if chronic conditions require regular specialist visits. Even if the condition is temporary, the cost could be overwhelming without the most appropriate policy.

We help you find the options that provide the coverage you are required to have. Whether you attend a specific school, or you’re a undergraduate or graduate student, we’re experienced  in making the selection and application process easy. Interpreting the requirements that your school requires can be very confusing and tedious. We compare these types of requirements each day, so we can easily and quickly determine your best course of action.

Provider List

Your own individual plan will include off-site doctors, hospitals and other specialists, if needed. Even if Network specialized medical care is located hundreds of miles from school, you will have access to that treatment. Almost all of the large Pennsylvania health insurers feature large Networks including the best specialists in the state. When we review your options, we’ll make certain that there are a wide selection of providers.

Most companies allow you to be billed monthly, instead of paying an entire semester of premiums at once.  And you can keep coverage after you graduate and also if you never finish. Since you own the plan, you determine if/when you want to renew it. As a result of annual Open Enrollments, you can also freely change plans and companies every year, regardless of any medical conditions you may have.

Student Health Insurance Rates In Pa

For example, a 19-year old in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas (assuming income of $20,000 per year and applied federal subsidy) can buy comprehensive coverage for as little as $26 per month (see below).


Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, Bucks and Chester Counties

$26 – Independence Blue Cross Bronze Basic – $40 pcp office visit copay after deductible is met.

$41 – Independence Blue Cross Personal Choice PPO Bronze Reserve – 0% coinsurance.

$52 – Independence Blue Cross Personal Choice PPO Bronze – $50 pcp office visit copay.

$60 – Independence Blue Cross Keystone HMO Silver Proactive – $10 and $20 office visit copays and $0 deductible.

$82 – Independence Blue Cross Keystone HMO Silver – $5 and $15 office visit copays and $1,000 deductible.


Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, and Beaver Counties


$68 – UPMC Advantage Bronze $6,950/$35 – $35 Copay on pcp visits.

$80 – UPMC Advantage Silver $3,250/$10 – $5 and $25 office visit copays and $1,000 deductible.

$82 – UPMC Advantage Silver $1,750/$30 – $15 and $30 office visit copays and $500 deductible.

$83 – UPMC Advantage Silver HSA $2,600/20% – Not the best option for students.

$83 – UPMC Advantage Silver $0/$50 – $0 deductible with $25 and $60 copays.


Dauphin, Lebanon, Cumberland, and Perry Counties


$55 – Geisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/3500 – $15 and $25 office visit copays. $600 deductible with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $2,350.

$82 – Capital BlueCross Silver PPO 4500/0/10 – $5 and $10 office visit copays. $1,100 deductible with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $2,350.

$95 – Highmark Alliance Flex Blue PPO 2300 – $25 and $40 office visit copays. $700 deductible with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $1,400.

$110 – Geisinger Marketplace HMO 20/40/6000 – $20 and $40 office visit copays. $3,000 deductible with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $4,000. $15 generic drug copay.

$126 – Capital BlueCross Silver PPO 4500/0/10 – $20 and $50 office visit copays. $1,000 deductible with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $7,150.


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If you’re working part-time, there is a possibility that you may be eligible for group benefits. However, typically, the most economical employer-based coverage is reserved for full-time employees.  Thus, your group rate may be quite high compared to other private options. There also may be a specific employee  “open enrollment” period, and if you miss the deadline, you’ll have to wait another year.

We prefer private options because you can also customize a policy to match the benefits that you feel are the most important. Thus,  if you need maternity or tuition protection with low out-of-pocket costs for a medical condition withdraw, there are specific carriers that will specialize in those needs, by reducing out-of-pocket costs. There are many occasions, when schooling may be interrupted because of a sickness or illness. That’s when you may need your own coverage the most.


2017 Pa University Student Health Plan Information And Rates For 11 Largest Schools


Pitt – UPMC provides the “Panther Blue General Student” policy with full utilization of all UPMC facilities. There is a low $250 deductible to meet and the maximum out-of-pocket expense is $4,200 for individual plans and $8,400 for a family. Office visit copays are $30 and $40 with a $40 copay for Urgent Care visits and a $75 copay for the ER. The generic, preferred brand and non-preferred brand drug copays are $15, $35, and $70 respectively.  The monthly rate is $188 for an individual and $526 if children are added. The family rate is $1,582.


Penn State – The Penn State  plan (SHIP) is provided by UnitedHealthcare Student Resources. Coverage is offered to undergraduates, graduate, law, and professional students, graduate assistants and fellows, international students, and Hershey College of Medicine students. Aetna previously provided benefits. International students must have existing medical coverage to continue enrollment in good standing. September 5th is the last day to enroll for Fall semester benefits. May 21st is the deadline for summer session coverage.


University Of Pennsylvania – “PSIP” is offered and Aetna is again the underwriter for undergraduate students. Graduate and professional program students have their costs included in their attendance budget when estimating financial aid. The Preferred Class deductible is only $300, and copays for drugs and office visits are typically between $20 and $40. The single-person rate is $3,140. Spouse benefits add $4,808 to the premium and multiple-dependent coverage is available for $5,667.

Dental benefits are also offered through the Penn Dental Family Practice. Covered services include implants, oral surgery, cosmetic surgery, general and pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, and teeth whitening. 35 physicians are available along with additional practitioners. A “Vital Savings Discount” program is also offered for basic dental needs. However, coverage is limited, and discounts will vary, depending upon the procedure. Also benefits are not recognized by the Penn Faculty Practice.


Indiana University Of Pennsylvania – IUP does not offer coverage. However, they “endorse” Consolidated Health Plans, which is a Berkshire Hathaway company. The cost is $1,888 per person and a whopping $7,250 for adding a spouse. Each child cost an additional $3,581. Nationwide is the underwriter of the contract and the Cigna Network may be used to lower out-of-pocket expenses in many situations.


Temple University – Undergraduate, graduate, law, pharmacy, dental, and international students are eligible to purchase coverage. The three available plans are Personal Choice PPO, Keystone Standard Point-Of-Service, and   Keystone Premium Point-Of-Service. Each of the three policies is underwritten by Independence Blue Cross, and complies with Affordable Care Act requirements. There are also no deductibles to meet although maximum out-of-pocket expenses apply.


The monthly single rates for the Personal Choice, Keystone Standard, and Keystone Premier are $239, $414, and $436 respectively. Prices for family coverage are absorbent, like most college plans. They are $702, $1,225, and $1,294.

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The Duquesne University Student Health Plan Is Underwritten By Highmark

Duquesne – Highmark BCBS underwrites the Duquesne student health insurance plan. The Network deductible is $500 with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $2,500. Office visit copays are $25 for primary care  physicians ans specialists. The annual cost of the plan is $1,768. However, PHD candidates may be eligible for a 50% discount.


Carnegie-Mellon – Aetna offers a “standard” and “enhanced” plan, along with separate dental and vision policies. The “standard” option is the most popular, and costs $1,191 per year, $3,213 with one dependent, and $3,870 for an entire family. The deductible is $400 per person and $800 for an entire family. The maximum out-of-pocket cost is $3,000/$6,000. Most expenses (Urgent Care, Office visits, Lab tests, X-Rays etc…) are paid at 80%.


Drexel – Two policy options are offered through…You guessed it…Aetna!  The Dragon and Dragon Preferred contracts cost $1,901 and $2,631 per year respectively. The Preferred contract waives the deductible and features 100% coverage (no coinsurance) on many items instead of 80%. The ER copay is also $50 instead of $100 (waived if admitted). Also, adult preventive dental benefits are provided under the dragon Preferred contract.


Villanova – UnitedHealthcare offers coverage at the following non-renewable one-year annual rates: Single – $1,545. Spouse – $4.145. Each child – $2,600. The in-network deductible is $200 ($600 out-of-network) with  maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $2,000 per person and $4,000 per family. It closely resembles Marketplace Platinum-tier contracts.


Bloomsburg State – Similar to IUP (above), Bloomsburg does not offer a specific plan to its student body, but endorses Consolidated Health Plans. However, University fees cover basic  treatment from the Student Medical Center.


Kutztown State – Same plan as IUP and Bloomsburg. Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, Edinboro, and several other colleges also use this plan.


Impact Of Legislation

There is now a student “Bill Of Rights” which can be found by clicking on this link. It’s a final ruling that is a part of  “The Affordable Care Act.” It’s very long and wordy so we’ll quickly summarize it. Annual limits may not be less than $100,000 on essential health benefits. Also, the “MLR” (Medical Loss ratio) does apply although plans will be considered separately instead of state by state. Of course, the much longer version can be found through the link.

You may also remain on a parent’s policy until age 26, assuming certain residency and eligibility guidelines are met. This can result in lower premiums (sometimes) and identical benefits as the rest of the family. If a chronic illness is present, purchasing an upper-end Exchange plan may lower out-of-pocket costs, especially if non-generic specialty drugs are needed.


Your free quote only takes a few minutes (see top of page). It allows you to easily see the rates from the best companies. You can also call or email us. We’ll help you choose the best plan, and explain the easiest way to apply for coverage. If your school or University needs written confirmation, we’ll be happy to provide it.