Virginia Health Insurance

Anthem BCBS Virginia Health Insurance Rates And Quotes

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance rates in Virginia are extremely affordable. The combination of low prices and the new federal subsidy allows Va residents to purchase quality healthcare plans, either on or off the Exchange. Individual, family and small business coverage provide quality benefits at a very low cost.
 

Our website provides free online BCBS quotes and helps you compare and apply for the best offered policies. If you apply for coverage, there are no medical questions to answer and your pre-existing conditions are covered. You also can not be denied because of any past or present conditions.
 

We have listed below the most popular Anthem health insurance plans in Virginia. Of course, additional information can be provided at any time. In this example, we are assuming a married couple (both age 40) with two children. The household income is $47,000 and the estimated monthly rate (including $552 federal subsidy) is also shown.
 

Bronze Plans
 

Virginia Blue Cross Cheap Options

Save Money With Bronze Plans


 

HealthKeepers DirectAccess with HSA  $79   $6,000 deductible with 15% coinsurance. It's actually a very simple policy to understand. Once the deductible has been met, you pay 15% of medical expenses. This policy is a popular student medical plan since it is fairly cheap and covers catastrophic claims.
 

HealthKeepers DirectAccess caam $102  $5,500 deductible with 25% coinsurance. $40 copay on primary care visits. Very similar to prior plan.
 

HealthKeepers DirectAccess cabw $114  $4,500 deductible with 35% coinsurance. $35 copay on primary care visits.
 

Silver Plans
 

HealthKeepers DirectAccess cbau $277   $750 deductible with $1,500 per person/ $3,000 per family maximum out of pocket costs. $30 primary care visit  copay, and  $10 and $35 copays on generic and name-brand prescriptions.
 

HealthKeepers DirectAccess cbjs $304  $725 deductible with same out of pocket maximums as previous policy. Office visit copay, however, is $20 instead of $30.
 

Gold Plans
 

HealthKeepers DirectAccess ccam $473  $750 deductible with $30 copay on office visits. $15 and $40 copays on prescriptions with $3,500 maximum out of pocket expense. You must meet deductible for specialist visits.
 

HealthKeepers DirectAccess Multi-State $553  Also a $750 deductible and $30 copay for office visits. However, it is an HMO, and not a PPO.
 

A special set of "catastrophic" plans are available for applicants under age 30. These plans are also offered if your household income is low enough and other  requirements are met. The  Healthkeepers DirectAccess Catastrophic plan is often the most affordable option. Optima also offers catastrophic coverage in many areas, but it is often more expensive.
 

Open Enrollment
 

Special Open Enrollment Period To Apply

During Open Enrollment -- Your Approval Is Virtually Guaranteed


 

During the Open Enrollment period, there are no health-related questions asked, and acceptance is just about guaranteed. If there are immigration or citizenship issues, or you are eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, you may not be able to buy a Marketplace plan. If your income allows you to receive a federal subsidy, the policy must be  an Exchange-issued plan. The amount you receive is based on your projected earnings for the year that you are applying for a policy.
 

After Open Enrollment Ends
 

If you miss Open Enrollment in Virginia, many affordable options are available for both individuals and families. For example, temporary policies, which can be kept for up to 12 months, will provide very inexpensive coverage until the next period (typically in November).  Applying for coverage takes about 15 minutes and many of the major carriers offer coverage. However, pre-existing conditions are not covered and short-term plans don't contain all of the required ACA benefits (such as maternity and preventive).
 

Also, "qualifying life events," allow you to enroll at any time. These exceptions provide a 60-day window (approximately) to compare and purchase plans. Some of the most common events are divorce, birth of a child, loss of benefits from work, termination of existing coverage, and dependent turning age 26.
 

Short-Term Coverage

 

Temporary coverage works best when you are between jobs, waiting for relocation to a new job, just graduated from high school, college or graduate school, or simply find yourself without benefits for various reasons. All of the plans previously listed have no minimum number of month requirements for keeping the policy. Therefore, it is possible and permissible to purchase a policy, and terminate at any time.
 

However, if a policy is canceled outside the Open Enrollment period, although you will have options, the number of choices will be limited. There are specific designated "short-term" contracts that allow you to apply and get approved within 12-36 hours.   UnitedHealthcare is one of several carriers that provide cheap rates on policies you can keep from 1-12 months. Pre-existing conditions are not covered on this type of plan, and the benefits do not comply with ACA federal legislation.
 

Senior Options

 

Virginia Medigap and MedSupp Plan Rates

Affordable Senior Healthcare In Virginia Is Available


 

Consumers that are eligible for Medicare can not purchase coverage from the Exchanges and receive a subsidy. Instead, three options are available:
 

Medigap Plans
 

Three Medicare Supplement policies can be purchased. During the annual Open Enrollment, acceptance is guaranteed and you can not be turned down. Pre-existing conditions are also covered. Options A, N and F are available, and each policy is different from the others.
 

Plan A is the cheapest Medigap policy and covers the hospital coinsurance or co-payment. But it does not cover the Part A deductible or Part B copayment. Plan N offers better benefits although it does not include Part B excess charges. Plan F is the most comprehensive option, and of course, is the most expensive.
 

Advantage Plans
 

Four Advantage contracts are offered, and each policy features no or an extremely low premium.  Copays and deductibles are also waived. The cheapest  policy is the MediBlue Smart Fit , an HMO plan with drug and Silver Sneakers coverage included. The other three choices are MediBlue Local, MediBlue COPD,  and MediBlue Diabetes.
 

Part D Plans
 

Part D provides prescription drug benefits. There are three plans that Anthem offers in Virginia and the range of monthly rates is approximately $20-$140. Blue Medicare RX Standard (PDP) is the least expensive policy and has a $310 pharmacy deductible with initial coverage of $2,850. The Preferred Brand Copay is $40.
 

Blue MedicareRX Plus and Blue Medicare RX Premiere are two additional policies that offer richer benefits at a higher cost. If you do not take any current prescriptions, they may not be the best option.
 

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield offers many affordable plans to individuals, families and small business owners. We make it easy for you to view and compare the best available policies and enroll as quickly as possible.

Virginia Health Information Exchange

Virginia Health Information (vhi.org) is not just a term that describes some of the advice and guidance we provide to consumers about their medical coverage. It's also a specific website that helps state residents with a plethora of free references, tools, hospital and physician finders and comprehensive consumer guides.
 

The Virginia Health Insurance Exchange is different from vhi.org. Affordable medical coverage rates through the Marketplace can be found by providing your zip code at the top of this page. We search and compare the top-rated companies so you can get quality coverage. You may also qualify for a federal subsidy.
 

Listed below are some of the most helpful topics and a brief description of some of the provided services:
 

Health Care Prices
 

Unless you have a copay on small and large procedures, you will typically have to meet a deductible. This means you will be paying the "negotiated price" agreed by the insurer and provider. Wouldn't it be nice to know in advance what dollar amounts are approved for this type of treatment. Listed below are some of the results:
 

Ankle X-Ray  $130 in physician's office. $357 outpatient in hospital.

Bone Density Scan $232 in physician's office. $382 outpatient in hospital.

Cesarean Delivery $12,656 in hospital.

Colonoscopy  $886 in licensed ambulatory  surgical center.  $2,152 in hospital.

CT Scan (Midsection)  $552 in physician's office. $1,283 outpatient in hospital.

Endoscopy $562 in physician's office $2,042 outpatient in hospital.

Mammogram $83 in physician's office  $231 outpatient in hospital.

Knee Replacement $26,763 inpatient in hospital. No other alternatives.

MRI On Knee $807 in physician's office. $1,690 outpatient in hospital.

Ultrasound $305 in physician's office  $553 outpatient in hospital.
 

Some of the hospitals in the state that offer these services include Sentara Norfolk General, VCU, Inova Fairfax, Winchester Medical Center, Centra, Carilion Roanoke, and Martha Jefferson.
 

Va Healthcare Exchange Prices

HMOs In Virginia Reduce Healthcare Costs


 

VHI also plays a vital role in helping consumers compare HMOs in Virginia. There are specific differences in benefits and cost, but also the network of providers along with the type of treatment that is administered. Some of the major HMO plans in the state are listed below:
 

Aetna

Kaiser

Coventry

UnitedHealthcare

CareFirst BlueChoice

Optima

HealthKeepers

MD-Individual Practice

Optimum Choice
 

When reviewing and comparing different HMOs, the amount of criteria used can be overwhelming. Some of the topics VHI uses include:
 

Preventive Care

Immunizations

Pediatric Illnesses

Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Obesity and Weight Assessment Counseling

Diabetes Care And Treatment

Usage Of Medications

Mental Health Diagnosis And Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

ADD and ADHT Medication

Hospitals
 

One of the most comprehensive topics covered are Virginia hospitals. In addition to helping you choose the best facility, you can also learn about ratings and how to interpret results, determining the best facility for your treatment, and the difference between community and teaching hospitals. There are downloadable guides to assist and provide specific points of interest.

Virginia Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace Rates

The Virginia  Health Insurance Exchange (also referred to as a "Marketplace") began Open Enrollment on October 1st for 2014 effective dates. Regardless of any pre-existing conditions, individuals, families and small businesses can apply for affordable medical coverage in Virginia from the top-rated companies. You can not be denied for medical conditions and a special federal subsidy helps reduce premiums.
 

About 900,000 Va residents are currently without coverage. About 800,000 persons should be eligible for government assistance, either through the State Exchange or the expansion of Medicaid, if approved in the future by legislation. Raising the Federal Poverty Level requirements would allow more persons to qualify for low-cost (sometimes free) Medicaid.

 

What Type Of Plans Are Available?

 

There are four available types of policies. They are Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. The expected percentage of medical claims covered under each policy is 60%, 70%, 80% and 90% respectively.  The Platinum is the "Cadillac" of the four choices, offering the lowest  out-of-pocket costs if you have a claim. The Bronze plan will be the cheapest option, but you will incur higher charges when you submit a claim. However, it can be a big money-saver for persons that desire low premiums but are willing to assume more risk.
 

Also, a "Catastrophic" option is available for younger persons (under age 30) and applicants that have special financial needs. These policies are cheaper than other Metal plans but feature much lower benefits.
 

Each carrier must offer at least one Silver and Gold plan inside the State Exchange. By making these two options available, carriers will be allowed to sell coverage "away" from the Exchange. It is possible that contracts outside of the Marketplace will feature larger networks of doctors, specialists and hospitals with more competitive pricing (assuming you don't qualify for a subsidy).
 

There will also be policies that don't meet Obamacare requirements and will be subject to the 1% of income tax. However, in certain situations, paying the tax could be offset by the substantial savings of the plan premiums. But there may also be an unusually high deductible, which may be specifically what consumers are looking for.
 

Get affordable Student Health Insurance Va.

Student Health Insurance Rates In Virginia Should Be Cheaper

 
These plans will be "standardized," and contain very similar core benefits. The federal government, when passing "The Affordable Care Act," felt  there were  too many choices for consumers to properly make an informed decision. A set of "essential health benefits," or core coverages, must be included in all policies. Some of these benefits include maternity, prescriptions, preventive benefits, hospitalization and  mental health.
 

If only a few months of benefits are needed, then temporary medical plans would be the most appropriate. They'll get you from Point A to Point B without putting a big dent in your budget. Prices are often about one-half to one-third the cost of a standard plan.
 

Will The Same Policies Be Offered In All Counties?
 

No. The SCC Bureau has approved five individual policies with an additional four currently being considered (as of Aug 1 2013). Separately, there are six options for small businesses. The vast majority of areas will be able to choose among three or four options. But there will be some specific areas where only a single policy can be chosen. This will likely be in the Southwestern part of the state.
 

For example, Buchanan County will  only have one plan for individuals or businesses. Tazewell County will also only have one option for businesses. But private individuals and families will have two options. Residents of Wythe and Bland counties will also have limited choices.

 

How And When Do I Buy A Policy

 

There is a standard online or paper application. The good news is there are no medical questions! You can apply for coverage through our website by first requesting a quote near the upper part of this page. Your eligibility is virtually guaranteed and you can apply alone or with live assistance. The choice is yours.
 

If you are eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, there is a separate enrollment process. Medicaid eligibility guidelines have been expanded for lower-income residents of the state. Children may also be able to qualify for special low-cost or no-cost programs. The Department Of Medical Assistant Services administers Medicaid and CHIP, which is also known as FAMIS. There are both financial and non-financial requirements.
 

The Open Enrollment period begins in October and runs through February 28th, 2014. However, there are specific circumstances (triggering events) that will allow you to apply at any time. For instance, getting married, getting divorced, giving birth, or adopting a child will all qualify. If you wish to change from one metal plan to another, (Bronze to Gold, Platinum to Silver etc...) you will have to wait until the next Open Enrollment.

 

Who Is Operating The Program?

 

The federal government is running the show, which is not unusual. Because of the large cost of handling the entire operation and transformation, many states are saving hundreds of millions of dollars by allowing the federal government operate the Exchange. The same applies to smaller businesses (less than 100 employees). The "SHOP" will offer coverage and give employers an opportunity to select among numerous options.
 

The state will be involved with some of the management of plans,but essentially will play a backseat role. However, in the future, if the state government chooses, they can request to operate the Virginia Health Exchange Marketplace and take over the operation. A few years ago, Governor McDonnell discussed legislation regarding the state's roll, but no vote ever took place.

 

Get Covered For Your Medical Plan In Va.

Easily Apply For Virginia Health Exchange Plans


 

What Are Navigators And Why Did Our State Get So Much Money For Them?

 

"Navigators" are not experienced licensed brokers that can compare and recommend the best plans for you. They are simply "workers" that will be hired to help with the enrollment process of uninsured consumers. They will not be licensed and their qualifications are very vague. They also may have access to your personal financial information. And yes, $2.5 million dollars is being spent on them.
 

Although their role is undefined, we believe they can best serve residents of the state that either have no internet access, or choose not to utilize the internet for comparing and applying for coverage. Also, it's possible that there are Virginia residents that do not have the needed transportation to travel, and will require an in-home visit.

 

Can I Hang On The Policy That I Have Now?

 

Despite promises from various sources, not everyone can keep their existing plan. If your policy was "grandfathered,' (your carrier will notify you if it is), you can keep coverage without having to be forced to purchase new coverage. Although it will mean that your existing contract is lacking some essential mandated benefits, it still may be the best choice for you.
 

Also, if your employer decides they are no longer offering medical coverage to their employees (and perhaps paying the fine instead), of course you would have to obtain new benefits. This specific risk was lessened a bit when the federal government waived the requirement in 2014 for certain businesses to offer healthcare to its workers. However, in 2015, it will be back on the books and many employers are expected to discontinue their worker's benefits.
 

What Are The "Cost-Sharing Plans?
 
These are found under the "Silver" Metal category of policies and it's a relatively unknown perk you can easily qualify for. If you are receiving any portion of the subsidy, you may automatically qualify for special reductions to your deductibles and copays.
 
Thus, if you are purchasing a policy with a $2,500 deductible, it's conceivable that it may be reduced to $2,000. Or perhaps $1,500 or lower. And other projected expenses would also reduce. It's a great way to save money throughout the year, but only the Silver options feature this benefit.
 

UPDATE: March 10 2014 -- Open Enrollment officially ends in three weeks, unless another extension is provided. Once it ends, consumers can continue to apply for medical coverage, although official Exchange plans will not be available. Short-term and Limited-Benefit policies will be two types of options offered.
 

UPDATE: April 9 2014 -- A private Marketplace may be created for Va residents later this year. The Senate Finance committee has given its approval in the budget that will provide an alternative to expanding Medicaid. The House is expected to review and vote on the proposal. The new legislation would keep costs down by requiring a copay and possible payment of up to 5% of their income in insurance premiums.

Major Hospitals In Virginia Comparison

Virginia is the home to many of the nation's outstanding hospitals. Since a hospital visit can be such a critical portion of your health care coverage, we have made it easy for you to find some of the best medical facilities in Virginia. Our Top-5 list takes into account patient and employee satisfaction along with effective usage of Va facilities and patient care.
 

Inova Fairfax is located in Falls Church and also services the Washington DC area. As a highly-respected teaching hospital, it has just under 1000 beds and is very well-known for its national rankings in cardiac treatment, gynecology, cancer, geriatrics, urology and gastroenterology. It is also well-known for it's excellence in nursing and patient satisfaction is rated above both the state and national averages. Recently, it was named the best hospital in the DC area.
 

Compare Top Hospitals In Virginia

Best Virginia Hospitals


 

There are actually two separate facilities -- Heart And Vascular Institute and Children's Hospital.  The Institute is the home of the area's leading peripheral arterial disease research while the Children's facility has the only pediatric intensive care unit in the surrounding area. The entire atmosphere is not just child-friendly, but takes advantage of the latest technological advances to help its patients.
 

Close coordination with the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) has helped Inova create a task force to deal with any outbreak of the Ebola virus in the area. Preparation drills and creation of a potential action plan will help treat any potential victims of this deadly disease. Even upon eradication, the readiness will remain in place.
 

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is located in the central part of the state in Richmond. This innovative hospital, specializing in  clinical and basic sciences, has won the prestigious "Consumer Choice Award" eight time, including each of the last two years. It has also been rated the top hospital in the Richmond area for the last four years (US News And World Report).
 

The Children's Hospital of Richmond is also part of the group and is widely recognized in the state for their treatment of children. Pediatric care will continue to be emphasized in future years through continued growth and expansion. Both clinical and therapy service are provided by highly-trained professionals and numerous specialty programs are offered that can focus on a child's specific needs.
 

Additional specialty facilities include the Massey Cancer Center, Harold F. Young Neurosurgical Center, Parkinson's And Movement Disorders Center, Hume-Lee Transplant Center, and Pauley Heart Center. Clinical research and trial information is typically available for all Centers (many additional ones are not listed).
 

Sentara Norfolk General is a non-for-profit facility that houses almost 500 beds. It's considered a general medical and surgical hospital and is located in Norfolk (as you may have guessed!). Earlier this year, they opened a  Hospice House in Virginia Beach that will be a nice addition to the community. Their ear, nose and throat program is one of the most respected in the entire US.
 

Located in Virginia and North Carolina, more than 100 locations provide top-notch care to residents in the area. Advanced imaging centers, outpatient campuses and assisted living centers are just a few of the many services provided. Specializing in cardiology and heart surgery, many area residents prefer Sentara's treatment and facilities. And the Optima individual medical insurance plan is also very popular.
 

Best Doctors Virginia

View Affordable Health Insurance Quotes In Virginia


 

University Of Virginia Medical Center is a highly-ranked health system located in Charlottesville. It opened its doors in 1901 and includes an academic center and one of the best children's facilities in the area. It's principal treatment area is the central portion of the state and it also has a school of nursing and medicine for students.
 

Among their highly-touted specialties are Cancer, neurology, endocrinology and diabetes. Historically, this facility has been ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the country and many of its practicing physicians are highly-acclaimed.
 

Recently, Uva, became the sole owner of Culpeper Regional Hospital (Previously, they shared ownership). Between $40 million and $50 million will be invested in Culpeper over the next decade and the Wellness Foundation will receive a major infusion of funds. The CRH Foundation and Hospital Auxiliary are important components of this 50-year old hospital.
 

Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital is also located in the central part of Virginia (Richmond) and is  constantly recognized for their excellence in critical care, prostatectomy and emergency medicine.  Their birthing center has also been nationally recognized.
 

Pediatric care is among the best in the state and a 24-hour pediatric intensive care is always functioning and available. The neonatal intensive care unit is also operating 24 hours per day.
 

Although we only highlighted five facilities, there were many more that worthy of consideration. Some of them included Mary Washington, Centra Health, Reston, Winchester Medical, Mary Washington and Carilion Roanoke Memorial. Each of these Virginia hospitals offers some of the best available professional treatment.

Affordable Student Health Insurance Plans In Virginia

Find the cheapest Va student health insurance plans whether you are full or part-time. Individual or family coverage is available from most of the large companies. Flexible low-cost coverage is available to meet your medical needs and satisfy the requirements of your school or University. We shop multiple companies in Virginia so you get the best rates, regardless of whether you're attending school inside or outside the state.
 

We help you understand what benefits are the most important, which options best meet your needs, and how to pay the lowest rates for these policies, even if you are in graduate school or a technical college. Although most colleges and universities offer their own version of coverage, options are often limited, so they may not be the best solution to your needs. Affordable full-time and part-time coverage is available. In many situations your college policy may be the best choice, and we'll certainly recommend those specific plans.
 

Exchange (or "Marketplace") policies don't require medical underwriting. Benefits, especially for out-of-area trauma centers, are often much higher than many school options. The availability of acute specialized care is critical if there is a major medical sickness or illness. Although treatment outside of the state will probably not be likely, it's still important to be able to utilize a nationwide network in case it is needed. Blue Cross Student Medical plans in Virginia are typically quite affordable and maintain a large provider network.
 

Cheap Va Student Rates

Virginia Marketplace Plans Provide Low-Cost Student Coverage


 

Another advantage of selecting private coverage is the package of "essential health benefits" that are included in all Marketplace plans (in accordance with ACA legislation). Although maternity benefits may not be needed, preventive coverage (annual physical and OBGYN visits) and mental illness/counseling is included. Depending on the treatment, it may be covered at 100% with no copay, coinsurance or deductible to meet.
 

Obamacare Plans And The ACA
 

When you purchase your own private student plan, you're not restricted to accept just one standard option. You can customize your policy to include and meet the needs that you are most likely to utilize. For instance, if you are in extremely good health, and are likely to only use preventive benefits, then an inexpensive catastrophic plan with a higher deductible may be the best choice. These plans are ideal for young persons that want the lowest possible premium.
 

Under the Affordable Care Act legislation that was passed several years ago, if you are under age 30, you can purchase this type of plan. Although some comprehensive benefits are not included, the amount of premium you save may be substantial. Also, many schools offer a fairly inexpensive supplementary policy that works well in conjunction with catastrophic options. These riders are also available to International students if they are legal residents of the US.
 

You may also qualify for a generous federal subsidy that reduces the premium. If you are listed as a dependent on a parent's tax-return, a subsidy may still be offered. In less than a minute, we can calculate your subsidy and determine how much each plan will reduce. It is possible your premium will be $0. If you are older than 30, a Bronze or Silver "Metal" plan will have the lowest rates. Since there is no federal exemption for persons in school, it is still a requirement to have in-force healthcare benefits.
 

Exchange Policies Through Marketplace
 

The Virginia Health Marketplace (Exchange) plans (you can get free quotes on our website) feature low cost options that may be ideal for students, especially if there are existing conditions. Since medical questions are no longer part of an application, an applicant can not be denied because of health history. Only age, residence and smoking preference will factor into the rate. Official Open Enrollment for 2015 effective dates begins on November 15th and runs through February 15th.
 

The federal subsidy (as previously mentioned) will reduce the premium the closer you are to the Federal Poverty Level. Some of the cheapest options are the Anthem HealthKeepers and Optima Vantage plans. Depending on where you live, up to six companies may offer policies. Northern Virginia has one of the widest selections of polices and carriers. Bigger cities, such as Richmond and Norfolk will offer the most choices. Smaller cities and rural areas will have smaller provider networks and less plan availability.
 

Student Health Plans Virginia

We Find Affordable Virginia Student Medical Coverage


 

Your own private policy will likely cost hundreds of dollars less per year and provide a much broader coverage if a severe illness or accident were to occur. There will be no lifetime or annual maximum, and most importantly, the network provider list will likely include facilities across the US, instead of local campus facilities. For example, Blue Cross, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna are three major carriers with network reach across the entire country.
 

This could be critical if specific treatment is necessary and can only be accessed at out-of-state hospitals. There are many specialized cancer treatment centers, facilities and hospitals in Texas and other states. In many situations, the only way to receive treatment is to own your own plan with a national network of providers. For comprehensive treatment of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, often, specific facilities located outside of your area will be one of the best options.
 

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
 

Also, assuming you qualify for an SEP, individual policies can be purchased at any time of the year. If you are dropping off an existing policy, you do not have to wait for an Open Enrollment period. For example, if you were starting classes in mid-term, or perhaps the summer, you can easily apply for a plan and unless there are citizenship or residency issues, receive an approval very quickly.
 

You would only pay for benefits you think would be utilized and leave off expensive riders that would least likely to be used. In this example, we are assuming you would qualify for a "Special Enrollment Period" since you are losing existing coverage. There is a special 60-day window that allows you to shop for coverage to replace an existing expiring policy.
 

So what is the best type of policy to buy? One of the biggest factors that must be considered is the requirements of your school. And whether you are attending an in-state school, such as UVa or William & Mary, or going out-of-state, you still must know what the minimum requirements will be. And these could be quite different, depending upon where you are going.
 

University Of Virginia Plans
 

Let's examine the University Of Virginia Student Health Insurance Program, that is administered by Aetna. The premium increase for the 2014-2015 school year was fairly moderate. The Spring/Summer rate (which covers from January 1 to August 14), is $1,514. If you add your spouse, the rate jumps to $3,791. Adding a child to the family bumps the annual premium to $5,745.
 

Summer rates are less but the session runs for less than four months. Once you sign up, you can NOT cancel and no refund will be given. It is also important to understand that students, of course, do not have to select this option. And if the "comprehensive Fee" is not paid, then the plan would not be available.
 

If you need benefits for the entire 12-month period, the price substantially increases. For example, the "student-only" rate becomes $2,445, "spouse only" becomes $3,678 and family premium increases to more than $9,000. In most situations, if you qualify for a federal Marketplace subsidy, it will cost less than the University plan.
 

While the rate is quite high, the routine non-emergency benefits are very good. By utilizing the provider network, a $25 copay is waived for routine office visits. Lab tests and additional services or supplies will also have no out of pocket cost. Unlike an HMO, a referral is not necessary.
 

Changes In UVA Plan
 

For 2015 effective dates, the $1 million cap is now unlimited and the annual deductible of $250 is now $400. Despite the jump, the $400 is less than almost all Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic Metal policies. However, treatment you receive in non-network facilities will cost more, since the coinsurance increases from 30% to 40%. Also, the quarterly billing option has been removed.
 

If you need speech therapy consultations, the cap on the number of covered visits has been removed. An annual eye exam is included on student plans including replacement contact lenses or glasses. If you have small children or infants, pediatric dental and vision benefits are provided.
 

Additional worldwide travel benefits are now included if you study outside the US. And mental illness and substance abuse are considered covered benefits. Until the Va State Health Exchange became operational in 2014, many private plans did not cover these two items. Now, maternity is also provided, along with complete preventative benefits. And the most recent change was the allowing of same or opposite-sex partners to these plans. Graduate teaching assistants will also be able to utilize this change.
 

Summary
 

Each student has different needs, budgets and benefit wish lists. To ensure you are receiving the benefits you must have (at the best price, of course), simply review the quotes you receive from this website to determine which policy is the best to apply for. We will be happy to help, or you can use our free information and apply directly for coverage.
 

UPDATES:
 

September 23 2014 -- More than 200,000 Va residents may have to change their current plans effective January 1, since they do not comply with ACA guidelines. These policies were allowed to renew last year, despite lack of all of the 10 required "essential health benefits." Within the next eight weeks, consumers who fall into this category, will receive mail correspondence advising them their options.
 

Although some of the 10 mandated coverages (such as maternity), may not be needed, it is still a legal requirement to have these benefits. The federal subsidy will help lower premiums for persons losing "grandfathered" plans.