Have a Medical Plan
Your health is number one. With that said, you should always have a medical plan in place. It’s important that you have health insurance while in college. If you don’t, even one visit to an emergency room could cost you a lot of money.
Things to Know
- Starting January 1, 2014 all college students need to abide by the individual mandate in the new Affordable Care Act (ACA), or pay a tax penalty. To learn more about the individual mandate, or the effect the ACA will have on your student health coverage.
- Below are health insurance options available to students:
1.) Parent’s health plan (Under the ACA, if you are 26 or under,
you can remain on your parents health insurance)
2.) School sponsored health plan
3.) Student health plan
4.) Individual health plan
Learn more about your health insurance options as a college student or recent graduate by reading this guide.
If you have a disability or medical issues, find out everything you can about your health plan. A few sample questions to think about include:
- Are doctor visits covered by your insurance?
- Are you covered out of state?
- What will you need to pay for medications and counseling?
- What is the closest hospital? Is it covered by your health plan?
- Is there a limit on the number of times you can see a specialist?
Your Emergency Plan
It’s a good idea for everyone to have a medical plan in place in the event you have a health crisis in college. Your emergency medical plan should follow these steps:
- Don’t deny any signs of mental or physical discomfort.
- Know where the closest hospital is in the event you need to seek treatment.
- Have a plan of how you will get to the hospital (cab, ambulance, friend or family member).
- Always try to carry your health insurance card, a list of your medications, and the phone numbers of your outpatient doctors and family members.
Your Medication Plan
If you take prescription medication, make a plan with your doctor prior to starting college. Medication management can be critical to your overall well-being. Here are 6 questions to discuss with your doctor before going to college:
- Will your doctor continue to automatically refill your prescriptions?
- Do you need to switch pharmacies?
- Will your parents mail your medications? Or will you have to pick them up?
- How can you order your prescriptions? Online, Phone, through an App?
- Who can pick up your prescriptions for you if you can’t find a way to get there?
- Should you notify your on-campus health clinic about your prescriptions?
Sometimes these conversations can be uncomfortable. For some extra help, here’s a short video skit to get a sense of how your medication plan discussion with your doctor could flow. Plus, get extra tips on medication management.
Tips for Managing & Safeguarding Your Medications
Prescription drug abuse is a major problem on most college campuses. That’s why it’s extremely important you take the proper security measures to safeguard your medications. Nothing good can happen if they fall in the wrong hands. To prevent this:
- Store your medications in a secure place.
- Keep track of all pills to ensure they don’t go missing.
- Don’t tell your friends about your medications. They don’t need to know.
- DON’T share medication under any circumstances.
- Properly dispose of old or unused medications.
Start the conversation!