Health insurance fundamentals for college students

February 28, 2024

Health insurance fundamentals

As the fall season approaches, millions of college students are headed to college. They’re thinking about how they’ll get along with their new roommates, pondering how to find classes, and pondering what distance their dorm is from the school cafeteria. What’s not on their mind? Health insurance or where to find health treatment.

We’ve put together a simple three-step guide to help you understand the basics so that you can concentrate on the most pressing issues of the upcoming school year (class, of course!). You’ll be required to:

  1. You should make sure that you are covered by health insurance.
  2. Be aware of the places to go if you become sick.
  3. Pick a pharmacy.

Step 1: Ensure That You’ve Got Health Insurance

The first thing to remember is that students require medical insurance. There are a variety of options to choose from:

  • Stay on the parent’s Plan: Students under 26 can choose to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans. If you choose this option is a good idea, it’s best to contact your Blue Cross Blue Shield company for more information regarding out-of-state coverage in the event that you require it.
  • Student Plans: Many schools also offer student coverage, which can be an ideal option for those who need basic health care. Contact your school for details.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace: Another option is to buy health insurance through the marketplace, which could allow you to get financial assistance from the government to help pay for your plan. You can also determine whether you are eligible for Medicaid.

Step 2 Step 2: Find Where You Are

If you’ve already got health insurance, take the time to find out how you can access it should you become sick. Check out the BCBS organization’s site to learn more about your options. You can also search for doctors in-network and urgent care centers close to campus by using our BCBS health provider searcher. This is an extremely important step since visits to a non-network doctor or hospital can be costlier or not even covered, depending on your plan.

Many colleges also provide students with health clinics, which is a great alternative for those who have limited transportation options off campus. Visit your campus clinic directly to determine if insurance coverage is available.

Step 3: Select a pharmacy

If you take prescription medications regularly or want to fight the effects of an illness, it’s essential to make sure you’re getting the medications you require at school. Students who require prescriptions regularly might want to consider mail-order pharmacies that deliver medications directly to you. This could be a time – and cost-saving option for college students. Call your BCBS company to find out more about the options for mail orders that suit your needs.

Since mail-order pharmacies require prior notice before they can deliver prescriptions, it’s an excellent idea to find the nearest pharmacy for urgent requirements. Some schools offer pharmacies on campus. However, a quick search online can help you locate other nearby locations. Be sure to verify the pharmacies that accept your BCBS coverage prior to getting your prescription dispensed there.

If you have any questions about how you can use your insurance at any time throughout the school year, the fastest way to obtain answers is to contact the 1-800 number that is on the reverse of your BCBS member ID card. 

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