Dear 100 Hour Board,
First off I wanted to say thanks for all the questions you've answered for both myself and others on this site. It truly is wonderful to know there are people dedicated to helping others out of their own volition.
But a little background info. I will be on my parent's insurance until I turn 19 in March of next year. By then, I will have to either choose a private insurance or BYU insurance. I'm looking for the cheapest option(not from a rich family), but based on what I'm seeing about BYU insurance not being all too great, I'm a little hesitant to register for it second semester. So here are my questions.
1. What's your guys' experience with BYU insurance and would you say based off your experience or knowledge is it a decent insurance? My father isn't too familiar with English or insurance in general, and has told me that since I chose to go to BYU instead of UC's I have to go figure it out myself.
2. As we aren't too rich, I'm on medi-cal and I was wondering, does Utah had something similar for students over 18 for private insurance?
3. What percent of students at BYU have private insurance and what percent have BYU insurance?
Thanks guys, and if you can't answer these, that's alright. I just wanted to get more of a community based answer to see what people thought.
-Student trying to figure out insurance on his own.
I used the BYU health insurance my freshman year. Unfortunately, I can't really speak to how good or bad of an insurance plan it is, since I don't think I went to the doctor at all during those two semesters. I can tell you, though, that as of August 30, 2015, the BYU insurance plan no longer qualifies as "minimum essential coverage" under the Affordable Care Act, meaning that you (or your parents, depending on the situation) may be liable for tax penalties. There's an extensive FAQ page about the BYU plan and other insurance questions that should help you get more information as far as that side goes.
Whether or not you use the BYU insurance, I would definitely recommend going to the Student Health Center if you're in need of any level of medical attention. I've never been there for an emergency, but I have gone there for other medical questions or concerns, and I am very satisfied with the service I've received. It's also very inexpensive: with my mom's insurance, copays are only $20, and it looks like if you have the BYU insurance they're only $10. If I wasn't on my mom's insurance, I think I'd feel pretty comfortable with the BYU insurance/Student Health Center setup, but again, I have no real experience with this.
As for your final question (it looks like Ento has your second question covered below), according to this Deseret News article from 2015, around one-third (33%) of BYU students enroll in BYU insurance. That article is a couple of years old, but my gut feeling is that the number today is still somewhere in that neighborhood.
At first, looking at the Utah Medicaid website, it looks like Utah hasn't expanded Medicaid to make people eligible based on income alone (in other words, you'd have to be pregnant or have children or a disability to qualify). However, you can apply for Medicaid on healthcare.gov, and even if you don't qualify, you may qualify for savings on a normal insurance plan. You should apply, just to see what it says.