All Posts By

Vicki Nelson


A Longer Wait to Join Parent's Health Insurance

May 25, 2010

As final preparations are being made for the health reform to take effect in September, parents looking to add their children under age 26 may need to make preparations of their own.

The following question was recently asked of the New York Times:

Currently we have Cigna Insurance through my husband’s policy (the policy period runs July 1-June 30), but we are required to sign up yearly between May 1 and May 28. Our son, a full-time college student, turns 23 on May 30th and will be dropped from this policy as of June 1. My company says that we cannot add our son back to the policy until July 1, 2011…. I am seeking answers for this apparent hole in the policy and would greatly appreciate your response to help me clear up what is/is not required for this new law. — C. Williamson

The Times response explains if an employer decides against early implementation of the health care bill, they don’t have to begin extending coverage until their new plan year begins. However, waiting until the next plan year may not be enough. It has been speculated employers may begin requiring proof an adult child does not have access to coverage through an employer, adding contribution rate tiers or, in other words, determining rates on the number of dependents, and making employees who add their dependents to the plan responsible for the additional costs.

Young adults looking for coverage during this gap may want to consider a short-term medical plan. This type of health insurance can be less expensive than a permanent plan and provides coverage should an emergency situation arise. Designed for those between permanent insurance plans, short-term – also called catastrophic – health insurance may be the perfect fit for students graduating out of a parent’s or school’s health insurance.

Visit the GradGuard website to save time and money with free quote comparisons.


Graduating Out of Health Insurance? Not for Long!

May 19, 2010

Graduating comes with many responsibilities of adult life from a new home to paying off student loans, graduates have more than a few things on their mind. Prior to the new health care bill insurance carriers, for the most part, allowed students to stay on their parent’s plan until graduation – but not a minute after. Once a student steps on stage, accepts his or her diploma their health insurance through a parent’s or school’s plan, more often than not, expires.

With the new health care bill allowing young adults to stay on a parent’s health insurance plan until age 26, some carriers have already extended coverage through a parent’s policy earlier than the September 23rd deadline. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had a hand in this encouraging carriers to adopt the new rules early reasoning it would prevent graduates from becoming uninsured. According to the Health and Human Services Department a few of the insurers to offer an early extension of health insurance to young adults through a parent’s health insurance include: Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna, Humana and United.

An article titled: “Cap, gown and no health coverage? Starting now, insurers will stop dropping new graduates“by the Cleavland Local News stated:

“It’s not clear how [the bill] will affect premiums. More coverage typically raises costs if everyone uses medical services, but this extension will bring a healthy, young and active cohort back into the insurance fold.”

The chief managed care officer of Medical Mutual of Ohio, George Stadtlander, said through most group plans, family premiums will likely stay the same with no additional cost to the employer. Although health insurance will be extended to a great number of people, many currently without health insurance are reasonably healthy individuals and should not affect premiums in a drastic measure.

If your health insurance company has not extended this type of coverage check out the GradGuard short term medical plans. They’re perfect for those between college, a job, or being added back onto a parents policy. For free health insurance quotes and comparisons visit:


Graduating “Young Invincibles” Uninsured

April 28, 2010

Soon to be graduates of 2010 have found a light at the end of the tunnel, but they’re not there yet. Before graduation ceremonies, students frantically study for finals, attend interviews, begin making living arrangements and all too often overlook their health insurance. What many students do not know is if they are covered by a parent or school policy, more often than not their coverage expires when the diploma enters the new graduate’s hand.

The new health insurance bill will allow young adults to stay on their parents health insurance policies until age 26, however, this will not go into effect in time for 2010 grads. Steve Trattner, president of Cinergy Health wrote in a recent article thirty percent of people ages 19 through 26 are uninsured. Trattner continued to observe in his article, “Congratulations on Your College Graduation – Now Get Health Insurance“:

“Instead of being smart about the frailty of life, this age group tends to believe they’re invincible or simply do not recognize the necessity of health insurance, especially as we confront seemingly ever-rising health care costs.”

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, also believes young adults need to realize the importance of health insurance as she expressed in her article, “What’s a Recent College Graduate to do about Health Insurance?” She believes some college graduates are indeed searching for health insurance however, “others, dubbed the ‘young invincibles’ think they don’t need it since they’re young and healthy.”

College students approaching their graduation date need to look into their health insurance options. Many graduates only need health insurance for a few months between graduation and their first job or graduate school. GradGuard offers an array of health insurance products perfect for the recent graduate and continuing students from short term health insurance to permanent longer-termed plans. GradGuard looks out for students and grads by providing quotes through different carriers and working to find the best policy at the most affordable price. For a free health insurance quote give a friendly GradGuard representative a call today at: 877-556-3894.


GradGuard & College Parents of America Launch Student Protection Plan

April 26, 2010

GradGuard was excited to announce in a press release it will be working with College Parents of America to launch the Student Protection Plan, featuring tuition refund insurance and other insurance benefits to protect students from potential losses. The conjoined efforts of College Parents of America and GradGuard promises to bring a multitude of insurance coverages and benefits necessary for students to succeed.

College Board estimates the sicker price for tuition and room & board at a public university to be $15,213 and a private university to cost approximately $35,636. GradGuard offers tuition refund insurance to protect this great investment. The tuition insurance is underwritten by Markel Insurance, an “A” Rated (Excellent) company according to A.M. Best. As families invest more an more in their child’s education this type of insurance is becoming a greater necessity. Should a student need to withdraw for medical or mental health reasons, GradGuard’s tuition insurance helps to protect families non-refundable losses.

A key type of insurance promoted by this partnership is the Student Protection Plan. The Student Protection Plan offers coverage for identity theft, emergency medical evacuation, small gadget theft, physical and virus damage to your PC, and an extended warranty coverage. The plan is embedded in the $299 membership to College Parents of America and premium GradGuard Tuition Insurance Policies. If purchased separately these coverages would cost families hundreds of dollars, bundling them together GradGuard offers coverage at an affordable rate.

“We developed our GradGuard Student Protection Plan to help students and their parents address many of the concerns that families confront as the school year starts and progresses”

-Bill Suneson, managing partner

GradGuard is on a mission is to protect the many aspects of the young collegiate lifestyle. GradGuard’s Student Health Insurance, Tuition Insurance, Travel Insurance and Student Protection Plan offer many ways to insure most every part of a college career. Protecting these important parts of a student’s life allow him or her to focus on classes and student activities.

GradGuard is working hard to support and protect all aspects of the college student’s lifestyle. For a free quote please visit the GradGuard website at:


WANTED: Affordable Student Health Insurance

April 26, 2010

A survey titled “Real Life 101” taken this past March by eHealthInsurance revealed too many young adults were uninsured. The survey interviewed 1,016 adults between the ages of 18 – 30 years including full-time students and graduates of the past three years. A couple key facts “Real Life 101” uncovered include:

  • one-in-five (21%) of adults ages 18-30 who have graduated college in the past three years are uninsured
  • one-in-three (37%) of these young adults reported having no insurance the day after accepting their diploma

The largest drive for college students (32%) and recent graduates (41%) to obtain health insurance is the affordability of coverage. Although pricing may deter many young adults from purchasing health insurance, they have many misconceptions about it as well. Recent graduates over estimated the cost of an individual health insurance policy by 38% while current students over estimated it by 69%. With the new health reform, students will be forced to purchase health insurance or face a significant fine. Luckily GradGuard offers an affordable student health insurance that meets student’s needs and keeps premiums low.

GradGuard Student Health Insurance is more than an affordable health coverage; it includes travel assistance services, $5,000 in annual tuition insurance, and identity theft protection. The student health plan offers these superior coverages as well as a free membership to College Parents of America. GradGuard is excited to announce a partnership working with College Parents of America (CPA) to offer affordable insurance of all kinds alongside the benefits and knowledge of CPA.

For a free student health insurance quote please visit:


Health Reform To Affect Students

April 15, 2010

According to, approximately 30 percent of young adults are uninsured. This catastrophic number is expected to fall when The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is enforced. The new health care bill President Obama signed into law this past March, effective in the next six months, will benefit college-aged young adults in many ways.

The most significant change The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make concerning college aged students is the ability to stay on a parents’ health insurance plan – if considered a dependent – until age 26. According to USA Today a young adult under 26 may stay on their parents’ plan regardless of whether they are married, employed, a student or graduate, or live separate from his or her parents. This is a large and greatly beneficial change as previously insurance companies only allowed young adults to be included on a parents’ health insurance policy up to a certain age, usually between 19 and 24 years.

Another gigantic change to the health insurance field is the ability to deny coverage on the grounds of a pre-existing condition has been removed and deemed illegal by the new legislation. This opens a large door for anyone who has been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, from cancer to asthma, and denied health insurance for this reason. By the year 2014 insurance carriers will no longer be able to deny adults coverage for a pre-existing condition and even sooner for children. Additional changes to the health insurance realm will include free preventive care such as diet, exercise, and nutrition counseling as well as immunizations and special screenings. These free services will greatly benefit students, especially the immunizations that will help protect students as they move from classroom to classroom, interacting with hundreds of fellow students a day.

The government recognizes many families do not have health insurance because they can not afford it and will be subsidizing insurance plans to those who earn less than the Federal Poverty Line. The cut off is currently 133 to 400 percent of annual income an individual earns, or about $14,000 to $43,000.

For a free health insurance quote comparison contact a friendly GradGuard representative today!


Health Care Reform In YOUR State

March 24, 2010

Health Reform has made its way to law in a one thousand some page document… so what does it actually say? CBS Capital Hill Producers Jill Jackson and John Nolen break down the basics in their report Health Care Reform Bill Summary: A Look At What’s in the Bill.

According to their report the new health care bill is estimated to cost $940 billion over the next 10 years and reduce the United States deficit by $130 billion over the next ten years. It will extend coverage to 32 million Americans that are currently uninsured.

Six months from now the health care reform mandates insurance companies will no longer be able to deny children coverage based on a preexisting condition. Beginning in 2014 insurance companies will not be able to deny anyone with preexisting conditions. The health care reform will also allow children to stay on their parent’s insurance policy until age 26. What seems to be the effecting the most: by 2014 everyone must purchase health insurance of face a fine of $695 annually.

The uninsured and self-employed will be able to purchase insurance through state-based exchanges. Families and individuals who make between 100 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and want to purchase their own health insurance on an exchange are eligible for subsidies. These individuals and families can not be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid and cannot be covered by an employer. Those who are eligible for the subsidies will receive premium credits however will receive a cap for how much they have to contribute to their premiums.

Now that the health care reform bill has passed through the House, Senate and bears President Obama’s signature… what now? As our government prepares to implement the new health care regulations and plans some states may be ahead of others. To check on the health reform in your state visit the website.


Florida State Universities to Require Health Insurance

February 12, 2010

As Washington D.C. fights a war on health care reform Florida rages its own battlefield. The Florida legislation may soon consider adding a new requirement for state-funded university attendees to hold health insurance. Although the measure did not pass through legislation last spring it’s expected to surface again next session.

Some opposition to this measure remains. Leixe Yanes of Florida Atlantic University stated, “If it passes, less kids will go to school. I think it should be left up to the students. We’re the ones paying. It’s our lives… they don’t need to take care of us.” This will increase the cost of attending college by an estimated $1,300 a year.

Although this may be true, the measure will motivate more college students to purchase health insurance. Even if you’re healthy as a horse accidents can not be predicted and may be detrimental to not only your health, but your checkbook as well. Rolling your ankle running to class or coming down with a contagious sickness like the swine flu is unexpected, however more common than you would think. A recent survey of college students graduates indicated nearly 60% of respondents or one of their friends had been hospitalized during the prior two years. After thinking about the additional doctor’s appointments, medications, and possible therapy following hospitalization… health insurance seems to make more and more sense.


Affordable Renters Insurance for College Students

August 24, 2009

Parents of college students have already spent enough on tuition, books, rent/ dorm fees… the list goes on and on. After the necessities have been purchased, parents are looking around wondering what else they could have forgotten. Looking around at the new dorm/ apartment/ condo parents soon realize thier child’s at college and accidents are bound to happen.

This is when it’s time to think about renters insurance.

College Renters Insurance, or CRI,  is a national company offering renters insurance at an affordable rate to students across the nation. Endorsed by College Parents of America, CRI is a credible, well priced protection college students need to consider.

A unique feature of CRI is it’s liability insurance. If a guest was to be injured on the property, College Renters Insurance aids with medical bills. College Renters Insurance also offers a wide range of policies to help find a plan with the coverage right for you.

To get a free quote from College Renters Insurance today at:


Renters Insurance For Your College Student

August 24, 2009

In back to school mode, parents may be caught up in the whirl wind their college kids have found themselves in. One of the most important things to think about when settling your college kid into a new dorm, apartment, or condo is renters insurance.

As students bring thousands of dollars worth of possessions,  from electronics to books to laptops and even furniture, it’s important parents take a look at their homeowners insurance policy and think about renters insurance. Often times a homeowners insurance policy will only extend so far to a college student’s possessions. Making a claim on the homeowners insurance may also raise premiums where you may be better off just replacing that couple thousand dollar lap top out of pocket.

As many parents believe damages will be covered by the landlord, more often than not a landlord’s insurance only lays hold to the building itself, not the resident’s possessions within. Double check with the landlord and ask what his/ her insurance policy would cover should a theft or other disaster occur.

Another myth is that renters insurance is too expensive. Although it is an added expense, should any disaster happen that your student’s possessions suffer damages you’ll be out thousands of dollars when renters insurance may have prevented the great financial loss.  A free quote for affordable renters insurance is available at:

Parent’s find your child appropriate coverage for not only their health and auto insurance, but renters as well.