Health care tips for college-bound kids
Whether they'll be an hour away or across the country, here are some things you can do to help your student stay healthy and safe while they're away at college.
Talk with your kid about their health plan
Your Regence health plan covers dependents until age 26. But while your kid may be covered, understanding networks is still important to avoid high out-of-pocket costs. Unfortunately, the majority of campus health centers are not in-network. To make sure your college student goes to an in-network provider, have them search for providers at regence.com using Find a Doctor.
Make sure they have the info they need
Even older adults have trouble staying on top of their health information. Make it easy by having your kid take notes or screenshots of their medications, dosages, allergies, family history and emergency contact info.
Your student should also know how to access and use their health plan. A simple way for them to do this is by downloading the Regence app. They can search for in-network doctors, pull up a virtual member ID card and more—all in just a few taps.
Help them know where to go
For things like sprains, mononucleosis and bronchitis—as well as STD testing and treatment—your college student can go to an urgent care center. Another convenient option for minor illnesses and injuries is retail clinics in supermarkets or drug stores—where they can pick up prescriptions and groceries, too. Look up clinics and pharmacies near campus (using Find a Doctor to make sure they're in-network), and note the hours they're open.
Register now for telehealth
If your plan includes telehealth, it's an easy way for your college student to get care without even leaving their dorm room. They can talk to a board-certified doctor or licensed therapist by phone or video. Available 24/7/365, telehealth lets your student have a virtual visit with a doctor, who can even send a prescription to the nearest pharmacy. Learn more about telehealth.
Schedule appointments for holiday breaks
Before heading off, your college-bound kid should have a doctor visit to make sure they're vaccinated for meningitis and are up-to-date on their Tdap booster and HPV vaccines. But now is also the time to make appointments for preventive care—like annual checkups or visits with the OB/GYN, dentist or eye doctor. Make appointments now for when they're back home for the holidays, so they won't have to worry about it during the school year.
Plan ahead for studying abroad
Is your college student embarking on a semester abroad? Check to see if your plan includes Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core, a program that puts you in contact with health care professionals, hospitals and medical assistance when traveling or living outside the United States. Call Customer Service to learn more about your international coverage.
You probably won't be able to ladle out chicken noodle soup anymore when your college kid isn't feeling well. But with these tips, you can at least rest assured that your student will be prepared to get the care they need to stay happy and healthy, all year long.