How Healthy Are Pennsylvania Residents Compared To The Rest Of the U.S.?


You live in Pennsylvania, and you think you are very healthy. You eat your vegetables, regularly exercise, and  effectively reduce stress. But how do you and all other Keystone State residents  compare to other states?  Are folks in Pittsburgh healthier than persons in Indianapolis? Is Philadelphia a better place to live than Baltimore. With the help of the United Health Foundation’s research and annual report, we will provide some extremely interesting statistics.

Four key components greatly impact health. They are clinical care, community and environment, policy, and behavior.  Statewide and national trends in public health have been studied for more than 25 years by the Foundation. They have correctly observed and predicted  reductions in the number of smokers, along with increases in drug abuse and deaths along with higher incidences of obesity.

How does Pennsylvania rate? Overall, the Keystone State ranks as the 28th healthiest state in the US. Shown below, in order,  are the Top 20.






New Hampshire



New Jersey


North Dakota


New York

Rhode Island








Tobacco Use

Smoking in the US has decreased in the last four years from 21.2% of the population to 17.5%. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death (obesity is second). For the last 50 years, the percentage of smokers has been steadily reducing. Many state smoking cessation programs have helped, and passing legislation that prohibits smoking in public and work-related locations has also contributed to the declining number of smokers. Increasing taxes and providing counseling are additional helpful factors.

College graduates are much less likely to smoke than persons with a high school (only) education, and the trend is not showing any signs of changing. Also among the 10 largest US cities, Philadelphia has the highest percentage of adult smokers at more than 25%. Also, more than 7% of high school students use tobacco. One possible reason is the high percentage of their parents who smoke. Tobacco usage costs the US  more than $170 billion each year in direct and indirect related expenses.

For the last five years, all states have reduced their percentage of smokers. Illinois has experienced the most significant decrease while Tennessee’s drop has been the smallest. The other states with the biggest reductions (in order) are Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Indiana, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Kansas. Currenrly, Pennsylvania ranks 29th of all states when comparing the number of active smokers.



Since 1990, obesity among young adults in the US has increased by a whopping 157%. Currently, about 30% of all adults are considered obese, which is a slight increase from last year. Although the incidence of obesity actually decreased in half of all states, the reductions were generally nominal. Physical inactivity is one of the primary reasons for the weight gain. Small increases in daily exercise can reverse the disturbing trend. NOTE: Adult inactivity, as expected, is much more prevalent at ages 40-60, than 20-39.

As the second-leading cause of preventable death (smoking is number one), obesity also contributes towards  many conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and several respiratory diseases. Education level also has a direct impact on obesity risk. Higher educational levels lead to a lower risk of being overweight, especially for females. College graduates have a 40% lower chance of becoming obese than persons that do not graduate from high school.

Pennsylvania’s annual rate of change in obesity prevalence by education level (age 25 or older) from 2012 to 2016 was the second-highest in the US behind only Vermont. The next five highest states were New York, Alaska, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Iowa. Better nutrition education in schools and at home can help improve the results.


Drug Deaths

The leading cause of deaths by injury in the United States is drug overdoses. More than 40,000 persons die each year, and most of the deaths involve opioids (pain relievers such as oxycodone, morphine, or hydrocodone).   The total cost of illegal drug usage in Pennsylvania is  hundreds of millions of dollars each year. The only states with higher drug deaths (as a percentage of population) are Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio,  Rhode Island, Utah, Kentucky, New Mexico and West Virginia.

A significantly-higher number of males lose their life from drug overdoses, compared to females. When comparing race and origin, Asians, Alaska natives, and American Indiana have the lowest rates, while Caucasians have the highest percentage of drug deaths. Alcohol misuse  costs the US more than $200 billion each year.


Chronic Drinking

Excessive and binge over-consumption of alcohol are often directly responsible for many medical issues, including liver disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, memory loss, digestive problems, cancer, pancreatitis, brain damage, and osteoporosis. Alcohol misuse  costs the US more than $200 billion each year. The higher the income, the greater the incidence of misuse. There is no significant difference when comparing urban and rural statistics.

Pennsylvania ranks 30th of all US states in excessive drinking. The states with the most serious problems are Alaska, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, and Illinois. The states with the least issues  (per capita) are Tennessee, West Virginia, Utah, Alabama, and Mississippi.


Pennsylvania Physical Acivity

Don’t Be A Couch Potato! Be Active!


Physical Inactivity

Most of us enjoy relaxing, and perhaps watching TV or sitting in front of our computer. However, when this occurs more than a few hours per day, increased risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer occur. Only about one in five persons  meet the US Department of Health and Human Services physical activity requirements. Life expectancy increases with increased exercise, especially on a regular basis.

Pennsylvania ranks 37th out of all states for effective physical activity. The five most “active” states are Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California, and Utah. The least “active” states are Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Louisiana. Females, persons over age 65, persons with less than a high-school education, and households with less than $25,000 of income, are the most susceptible.


Occupational Deaths

Pennsylvania does not rank in the top or bottom five of this category. The worst states for occupational fatalities are Wyoming, North Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. The five states with the least percentage of deaths are Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Connecticut, and California. Note: Statistics included  the following industries: construction, utilities, manufacturing, transportation, and business services.


Air Pollution

Unclean air can cause respiratory disease, asthma, irregular heartbeat, bronchitis, allergies, heart attacks, and several other serious medical conditions. The annual US cost of air pollution  is more than $50 billion, although the Clean Air Act helps reduce some of the expenses. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is ranked as the second-highest state for air pollution. The other four states are Ohio, California, Indiana, and Illinois. The five states that pollute the least are Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, New Mexico, and South Dakota.


Infectious Diseases

Salmonella, Whooping Cough, and Chlamydia are three common preventable diseases that cause death, if left untreated. Children are the most susceptible, although increased treatment and prevention will reduce the number of fatalities. Salmonella causes fever and cramps, and is typically caused by food contamination. Whooping Cough is very contagious and can be slowed by vaccinations. Chlamydia is transmitted by sexual contact, and affects more than 1 million persons each year.

Pennsylvania’s state-ranking is 16th for incidence of Chlamydia, 20th for Whooping Cough, and 11th for Salmonella (lowest is best). The five states with the highest average level of these three conditions are Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Alaska. The five states with the lowest average levels are West Virginia, Maine, Vermont, Oregon, and Connecticut.


Violent Crime

More than one million violent crimes occur in the US each year, resulting in more than $6 billion of medical expenses. The Keystone State is not one of the top-five or bottom-five ranked states. The five states with the lowest (per capita) number of violent crimes are Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Virginia. The five highest-ranked states are Alaska, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Louisiana. An estimated $65 billion in production is lost every year to violent crimes.


Pa Immunizations

Boosters And Vaccines Can Save Lives


Immunizations – Children And Adolescents

As children and adolescents get older, often the effectiveness of previously-administered vaccines begins to diminish. The proper use of boosters can greatly reduce the number of many diseases, including HPV, meningitis, septicemia, tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Up to 14 diseases can be prevented with proper immunizations. Black non-Hispanic children and children from poorer households tend to receive the lowest percentage of available treatment.

The Keystone State is ranked 8th among all states for immunizations for all adolescents, 10th for HPV immunizations, 4th for meningococcal, and 8th for Tdap. The top-ranked states (measured by percentage of children aged 19-35 months, who  received measles, mumps, rubella, polio and hepatitis vaccines) are Connecticut, North Dakota, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Iowa. The states with the lowest ratings are Virginia, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas, and Florida.


Cancer-Causing Death

The second-leading cause of death in the United States in cancer. More than 1.5 million new cases are reported each year, with almost 600,000 persons dying from the disease. Although stopping the usage of tobacco helps reduce the incidence of lung cancer, it is still one of the leading causes, along with colon, breast, and prostate. Pennsylvania ranks only 36th in cancer deaths when compared to other states. Regular screening tests allow effective early treatment (if needed).

The five states with the lowest percentage of cancer incidence are Utah, Hawaii, Colorado,  New Mexico, and California. The five states with the highest incidence are Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Arkansas. Additional information can be found in this report.


Cardiovascular Deaths

Stroke and heart disease are major causes of death. Black males are 30% more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases than white males. Non-Hispanic blacks also have much higher avoidable deaths than non-Hispanic whites. Pennsylvania ranks 35th among all states for cardiovascular deaths in the US. The five states with the lowest percentage of deaths are Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Oregon. The five states with the worst numbers are Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Note:  Cardiovascular disease is very effectively treated by Pennsylvania’s best hospitals.


Pa Diabetes Information

Diabetes In Pennsylvania Leads To Several Other Conditions



Diabetes is the nation’s seventh leading cause of death. Its chronic condition leads to several other serious conditions, including stroke and heart disease. The three types of diabetes (Type 1, Type 2, and gestational) can be managed with improved diet, increased exercise, and properly managing weight. Medical costs associated with the disease, are very high, which explains why most carriers deny coverage on their medically-underwritten products.

The Keystone State ranks 30th in the US for incidence of Diabetes. The five states with the lowest numbers are Utah, Colorado, Alaska, Minnesota, and Montana. The five states that rank the highest are Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.


Health Status Imbalance

Typically,  highly-educated persons tend to be healthier. Thus, staying in school and earning high school, college, and post-graduate degrees may actually improve your health. Every increase in level of education improves health status. More than $1 trillion would be saved if these disparities were substantially diminished.  Pennsylvania ranks 37th in the “disparity index,” compared to other states. Up to $1 trillion can be saved if the imbalance is reduced.

The states with the greatest disparity are California, Vermont, Colorado, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Florida. The states with the smallest disparity are Hawaii, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wyoming, Kentucky, Missouri, and Indiana.


Mental Distress

Frequent mental distress (FMD)  is a metric that takes into account emotional and mental disorders, and severe stress caused by environmental factors. Lack of sleep and economic and healthcare hardship can contribute and increase stress levels. Mental health issues that are untreated at young ages, often lead to future adverse events as an adult. Continued and prolonged  untreated illness generally results in serious consequences. When considering the percentage of adults that stated their mental health was not favorable for at least 14 of the last 30 days, Pennsylvania ranks 28th of all states.

The states that reported the highest levels of mental distress are West Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Carolina. The states that reported the lowest levels are South Dakota, Minnesota, Hawaii, Nebraska, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas. The true economic cost is more than $300 billion, which does not include early mortality and homelessness. Females are more likely than males to suffer from this ailment.


Physical Distress

Severe and constant physical stress is common with persons (mostly adults) with chronic medical conditions, especially heart disease and stroke. Often it leads to less physician visits and additional or worsening conditions. Pennsylvania ranks in the middle (25th) when comparing state disparities in frequencies of physical distress. States with the highest physical distress are West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky. States with the lowest physical distress are North Dakota, Alaska, Minnesota, Utah, and Hawaii.


Infant Mortality

The US infant mortality rate (under five-years-old) continues to rank higher than many developed countries, including Iceland, Finland, Norway, Japan, Sweden, Israel, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Australia, Greece, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and Canada. The leading causes of death are injury, SIDS, birth defects, maternal complications, and pregnancy complications. Unmarried mothers and non-Hispanic Blacks have higher rates. The states with the highest infant mortality ratios are Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The states with the lowest infant mortality rates are Vermont, Washington, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California.

Pennsylvania Health Insurance 2018 Rate Changes – Individual And Group

2018 Pa Health insurance premiums are going up in 2018. How much? Carriers authorized to conduct business in Pennsylvania have submitted their new rates, which will be reviewed by the Department of Insurance (DOI). Individual, family, and group policies charge different rates each year. It is also possible that several plans that were offered in 2017, will be replaced by different options in 2018.

Below, we have listed the proposed price changes for ACA (Affordable Care Act) compliant policies. Although the DOI often approves rate change requests, it is possible that the entire increase (or decrease) may not be granted. Participating companies offer increased transparency by publicly requesting price changes. Subsequent  changes throughout the year are also publicly requested.


Capital Advantage Assurance Company

9.90% – PPO Individual

11.65% – PPO Small Group

9.53% – PPO PHS Individual

15.90% – PPO PHS Small Group


Federated Mutual

13.24% – Small Group


First Priority Health

7.39% – my Priority Blue Flex HMO Individual

10.26% – my Lehigh Valley Flex Blue HMO Individual

10.55% – my Priority Blue Flex HMO Individual


First Priority Life

5.70% – AffordaBlue Small Group

-.98% – Lehigh Valley Flex Blue PPO Small Group

3.38% – Lehigh Valley Flex Blue PPO HDHP Small Group

7.03% – BlueCare Custom PPO Small Group

9.54% – BlueCare QHD PPO Small Group

6.32% – BlueCare PPO Small Group

10.38% – myBlue Access Individual



8.10% – HMO Individual

11.93% – HMO POS Individual

11.82% – POS Small Group

9.96% – Small Group

8.79% – Individual

13.42% – No Referral Small Group


Highmark Benefits Group

1.88% – Lehigh Valley Flex Blue PPO Small Group

8.20% – Lehigh Valley Flex Blue PPO QHDHP Small Group

10.72% – Health Savings PPO Small Group

6.81% – Premier Balance Small Group PPO

14.65% – Health Savings Flex PPO Embedded Small Group

16.74% – Balance PPO Small Group

13.74% – High Deductible PPO Small Group

11.25% – Health Savings PPO Embedded Small Group

10.45% – Flex PPO Small Group


Highmark Choice Company

1.95% – Keystone HMO Small Group

-23.01% – my Direct Blue HMO Individual


Highmark Coverage Advantage

1.98% – Health Savings PPO Embedded Small Group

8.64% – Balance PPO Small Group

2.15% – High Deductible PPO Small Group

5.55% – Health SAvings PPO Small Group

0.41% – Premier Balance PPO Small Group


Highmark Health Insurance Company

7.23% – Health Savings PPO Small Group

0.75% – Shared Cost PPO Small Group

-0.48% – Shared Cost PPO Small Group

5.82% – Health Savings PPO Small Group

4.19% – Shared Cost PPO Individual

11.35% – Health Savings Blue PPO Individual

11.61% – Health Savings PPO Individual

13.56% – Shared Cost PPO Individual


Highmark Inc.

1.79% – Premier Balance PPO – a Community Blue Plan Small Group

0.89% – Shared Cost PPO a Community Blue Plan Small Group

3.98% – Health Savings PPO a Community Blue Plan Small Group

-1.16% – Flex PPO a Community Blue Plan Small Group

1.01% – Health Savings PPO Embedded Small Group

4.65% – Connect Blue EPO Small Group

9.83% – Balance PPO a Community Blue Plan Small Group

18.43% – Major Events Blue PPO a Community Blue Plan Individual


Independence Blue Cross

13.10% – Personal Choice Exchange EPO Individual

14.29% – Personal Choice OFFX PPO Individual

7.96% – Personal Choice OFFX EPO Individual

14.72% – Personal Choice Exchange PPO Individual

9.37% – Personal Choice Small Group


Keystone Health Plan East

6.52% – KHPE OFFX  Individual

55.10% – IND HMO QHP Individual

15.44% – HMO Small Group

3.53% – Keystone HMO Exchange Individual

10.79% – Keystone DPOS Small Group

9.86% – Keystone HMO Small Group

6.52% – KHPE OFFX Individual



5.70% – Choice Small Group

9.85% – Options Non-Differential PPO Small Group

6.30% – Choice Plus Small Group



-8.85% – Marketplace SHOP Small Group HMO

3.69% – Off Marketplace Individual

-4.66% – Marketplace SHOP Small Group PPO

10.24% – Marketplace Individual EPO

10.14% – Marketplace Individual PPO


Note: Proposed premium changes reported by “Rate Review” are updated yearly.

Student Health Insurance Plans In Pennsylvania – Compare Options

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. Note: Several of the previously-mentioned carriers offer small and large group coverage, but not private individual or family plans.

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. Several student health insurance guides are available along with our customized reviews of specific schools.

Best Student Health Insurance Prices In Pa

View Cheap Pa Student Health Insurance Rates In Minutes

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.


Get Best Pa Student Health Plans Online

Apply For Pa Student Medical Coverage


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.


2017/2018 Pa University Student Health Plan Information And Rates For 11 Largest Schools


University Of Pittsburgh – The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health Plan is available to full-time undergraduate students and all graduate students. Coverage is underwritten by UPMC. The monthly rate for a single student is $188.62, and $526.07 for a student and one child. The rates for a student and spouse is $1,244.63 and $1,582.07 for an entire family. Dental and vision benefits are also available ($15.32 and $6.78 monthly rates respectively for a single student).

Plan deductibles are $250 per person, and $500 per family. Maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $4,200 per person and $8,400 per family. Office visit copays (pcp and specialist) are $30 and $40. The Urgent Care and ER copays are $40 and $75. Prescription drug copays are $15 for generic and $35 for preferred brands. Non-preferred brand and specialty medication copays are $70.


Penn State University – 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 annual rate for single students is $3,348, $3,348 for a spouse, and $3,348 for a child. The annual rate for two or more children is $6,696.

Utilizing “Preferred Care” facilities provides lower out-of-pocket costs. The annual deductible is $300 per person, with  $900 maximum out-of-pocket expenses. Office visit and Urgent Care copays are $30. The ER copay is $100.  The diagnostic test and x-ray copay is $35, while the imaging copay is $50. Prescription drugs are covered with the following copays: $20 – generic $40-preferred brand, non-preferred brand – $40, and specialty – $40.

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, although there is a “service fee” that every student must pay. This charge covers the cost of the campus clinic for basic services (common colds, the flu, etc…).   Incoming freshman and transfer students must also provide proof of the following immunizations: Polio, Diphtheria, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, and Tetanus.

The Health Service Clinic is open during most business hours and can treat basic injuries and illnesses. Physicians and nurses are available to treat patients. Payment is not collected at the time of treatment, since billing statements are sent directly to the Bursar for direct pay. Prescribed medications can be picked up at local pharmacies. The facility is located at 901 Maple Street. Several  available services (and their charges) are: basic visit for illness or injury – $10, pregnancy testing – $15, STD tests – $25, annual physicals – $35, allergy injections – $5, crutches – $30, sutures – $5, use of nebulizer – $5, and air cast – $15.


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. Each of the three plans has a maximum out-of-pocket maximum of $6,600 (per person) and $13,200 per family. Note: Routine and basic visits are covered by Student Health Services (part of the University Services fee).

The Personal Choice PPO plan has $20 and $40 office visit copays with a $70 copay for Urgent Care visits. Inpatient hospital visits are subject to a $150 copay per day (maximum five copays), and ER visits have a $100 copay. Routine diagnostic x-rays are subject to a $40 copay.  Most therapy services require a $40 copay.  There is no deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $6,600.

The POS Standard plan has $30 and $50 office visit copays with a $70 copay for Urgent Care visits. Inpatient hospital visits are subject to a $250 copay per day (maximum five copays), and ER visits have a $100 copay.  There is no deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $6,600. Therapy services are subject to a $50 copay.

The POS Premium plan has $15 and $30 office visit copays with a $70 copay for Urgent Care visits. Inpatient hospital visits are subject to a $100 copay per day (maximum five copays), and ER visits have a $100 copay. There is no deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $6,600. Therapy services are subject to a $30 copay.

The monthly single rates (full-time students) for the Personal Choice, Keystone Standard, and Keystone Premier are $256, $239, and $247 respectively. Prices for family coverage are quite high, like most college plans. They are $750, $709, and $736. To cover a student and one dependent, the monthly rates are $570, $533, and $553.

Cheap Pittsburgh Student Medical Coverage

The Duquesne University Student Health Plan Is Underwritten By Highmark

Duquesne – All full-time undergraduate, graduate, and international students are required to select the official student health plan, or provide proof that qualified coverage is in currently in effect.  Highmark BCBS underwrites the Duquesne plan by providing PPO Blue coverage. The cost is $1,895.84, which is billed in the fall and the spring ($972.92 and $922.92). The policy deductibles are $500 per person and $1,000 per family. The maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $4,500 and $9,000 respectively.

Retail clinic and pcp office visit copays are $25, while the specialist visit copay is $35. The Urgent Care copay is $50, while the ER copay is $125, with 80% coverage thereafter. Pediatric dental and vision routine visits are covered at 100%. Prescription drugs do not have a deductible to meet. The retail copays for a 31-day supply are $10 for generic, $35 for formulary brand, and $50 for non-formulary brand. the 90-day copay for maintenance drugs are $20, $70, and $100.


Carnegie-Mellon -Full-time students (Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley campuses) are required to have medical coverage that satisfies the school’s requirements. If other coverage meets the University requirements, a waiver can be granted. The healthcare plan is underwritten by Aetna, one of the nation’s largest carriers. The annual cost for a single student is $2,039. Adding a dependent increases the rate to $4,043. The annual family rate is $6,047. The annual individual dental and vision coverage rates are $214 and $82.44 respectively. Family rates are $538 and $224.64.

The annual deductible is $250 with  maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $5,000. The office visit and Urgent Care copays are $25, while the ER copay is $125. Diagnostic tests are subject to a $25 copay and imaging is subject to a $40 copay. Hospital room and board, and intensive care expenses, are covered with a $150 copay. 100% coverage of the negotiated price is provided after the copay has been paid. Therapy (radiation, inhalation, chemotherapy, kidney dialysis, and respiratory) is paid at 100% of the negotiated charge.

The generic and preferred brand drug copays are $15 and $35. The non-preferred brand and specialty drug copay is $65. A waiver (deductible and copay) is given for many female prescription drug contraceptives.


Drexel – All students are required to furnish proof of coverage by August 30th. A waiver is granted of a set of specific requirements are met. $2,500 is the maximum allowed deductible (exception for HSAs), and mental health and substance abuse benefits must be included. At least $500,000 of benefits must be provided by a carrier licensed and approved to conduct business in the US. And of course, pre-existing conditions must be covered.

Current coverage is underwritten by Aetna with the following annual rates: Student – $2,166. Student plus spouse or child – $4,292. Student plus two (or more) children – $6,418. Student plus spouse and child – $6,418. Student plus spouse plus two (or more) children – $8,544. Law students and college of medicine students pay slightly higher premiums.

The deductible is $100 (per person) with  maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $5,000. Office visit copays are $20, with an Urgent Care copay of $30. The copays for generic, preferred brand, and non-preferred brand drugs are $15, $30, and $45.


Villanova – Unless a waiver is granted, all students (domestic undergraduate, and international)  are required to maintain health insurance benefits. UnitedHealthcare offers coverage at the following non-renewable one-year annual rates: Single – $1,985 Spouse – $1,985. Each child – $1,985. Spouse plus two or more children – $5,955.

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. Coinsurance is 90%. It closely resembles Marketplace Platinum-tier contracts. Prescription drug copays  for Tiers 1, 2, and 3, are $15, $30, and $45. Most benefits  are provided with the “preferred allowance.” Examples include room and board, intensive care, physician visits, diagnostic tests, x-rays, procedures, ambulance services, Urgent Care,  and medical emergency expenses.


Bloomsburg State – Similar to IUP, Bloomsburg does not offer a specific plan to its student body, but offers online links that provide basic information to help in the selection process. However, University fees cover basic  treatment from the Student Medical Center. Part-time physicians and registered nurses can be accessed by appointments (only). There is no limit on the number of times a student can visit. Annual physicals and pregnancy testing are offered for a small cost.


Kutztown State – Students are not offered a University-sponsored plan. However, if the health center fee has been paid, and the appropriate medical forms have been completed,  a campus ambulatory facility (Clinical Services) is provided. Although walk-in business is allowed, appointment are preferred.  Routine treatment is provided for several services, including routine physicals, allergy injections, immunizations, flu or cold, strep testing, vomiting and diarrhea.


West Chester University – Student healthcare coverage is longer offered. Previously, plans utilizing the Cigna PPO network were available. Student Health Services, located on the ground floor at Commonwealth Hall, can be utilized. The fee charged for a visit is $12 if the health services charge has been paid with tuition. Otherwise, the charge is $20. Many services are available, including basic health care, allergy shots, immunizations (Hepatitis B, HPV, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus), medications, disposal of needles, TB testing, prescribing oral contraceptives, STI testing, and GYN exams.


Impact Of Legislation

A student “Bill Of Rights” is available, which can be found by clicking on this link. This final ruling  is  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) applies, 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 to other family members. A comprehensive Group plan will often feature low deductibles and copays. 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 will provide it.