Health care tips for college-bound kids

Talk with your kid about their health plan 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 sign in at and search for a provider.

Make sure they have the info they need

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. Additional convenient options for minor illnesses and injuries are retail clinics in supermarkets or drug stores, where students can pick up prescriptions and groceries, too. Look up clinics and pharmacies near campus (using our doctor search to make sure they’re in network) and note the hours they’re open.

Schedule appointments for holiday breaks

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.