[Parentsgroup-list] question about insurance for children

Charles M. Brankman brankman at fas.harvard.edu
Fri May 4 12:23:49 EDT 2007

Hello All:

I'm writing with a question and request for any information or advice 
that anyone might have regarding health insurance for children of 
graduate students. I'm a G4 in Earth and Planetary Sciences with a 2-1/2 
year old daughter. For a number of reasons, including proximity to my 
wife's job location, we live in northern Massachusetts about 30 miles 
north of Boston. When my daughter was born, we found it cheaper and more 
convenient to buy a separate individual policy to cover her (BCBS Blue 
for Kids - around $200/month) rather than enroll her in either the 
Harvard UHS/BCBS insurance program (and have to come into Harvard for 
appointments beyond the few outside appointments allowed) or the program 
through my wife's employer.  We recently received a letter from BCBS 
informing us that, due to the new Massachusetts law requiring health 
care coverage, no individual policies for children will be available. 
All the other options end up at least doubling our insurance cost (I 
believe that adding a dependent to the Harvard policy is around 
$4400/year, and policies through my wife's employer or private family 
plans would end up being $900+/month!). So, my questions are:

- Are there any other parents facing similar issues?
- Does anyone know of other options for those of us who exceed the 
income limits for MassHealth but can't afford private policies?
- Any idea if health care costs factor into student loan eligibility? 
I've been denied student loans in the past (due to department fellowship 
support, TF salaries etc, and my wife's income) but I would think that 
adding another few thousand in expenses might change that.

thanks in advance for your thoughts.

-Charlie Brankman


Charles M. Brankman
Structural Geology and Earth Resources Group
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
Harvard University
20 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138  USA
ph:  617/495-0367          fax: 617/495-7660
brankman at fas.harvard.edu

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