Unlike most college students, Tara Carey chose her own health insurance plan.
Three years ago, Carey's father passed away from a chronic blood disorder after being laid off and losing his health insurance, rendering him temporarily unable to afford chemotherapy treatments. With her mother unemployed and uninsured, the Emory University junior was required by her school to get insured, but opted out of Emory's Student Aetna plan because it didn't offer reasonable coverage.
"The insurance that I have now actually is fine — it has great coverage with low co-pays, but the premium costs too much of my monthly income," says Carey, 20. "When I had the Aetna plan as a freshman and sophomore, the amounts I paid out of pocket were ridiculous. I had to have a minor surgery that cost roughly $4,000, and I had to pay $2,500 — doesn't exactly sound like good coverage for a college student."
Still working to pay for the procedure, Carey plans to utilize the open enrollment period — Oct. 1 to March 31 — of the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act to find a plan that better suits her needs.