Staying Healthy on Campus
Let's look at how college students can stay healthy and safe at school this fall.
Educational institutions play an important role in the health and safety of more than 20 million people enrolled in universities and colleges.
If you're a college student preparing for the fall semester, or you have a student in your family, it's important to think about health care before arriving on campus. Take these steps to get the school year off to a healthy start:
1. Get vaccinated.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a powerful reminder of the importance of vaccinations. Germs spread quickly in the classrooms and shared living spaces on college campuses, so college students are often required to have certain immunizations. These requirements differ from state to state, but the CDC and other respected medical groups compiled a list of recommended vaccinations for adults ages 19 and older. View their recommendations.
2. Have a plan for accessing health care.
In college, many young people find themselves responsible for their own health for the first time. If you have college students in your family, be sure they understand how to access health care while at school. Confirm that they know where the campus health center is located, what services are offered, and how to request and fill a prescription. Have questions about the health center and its services? Check the school’s website.
Students should be able to provide basic information about their health history. We recommend that students bring a first-aid kit, including a thermometer, to campus.
3. Know what the student health plan covers — and what it doesn’t.
The typical student health plan offers enough coverage for most students, but each plan is different. Visit the school’s website to determine the benefits and limitations of their plan.
For students under age 26, another option is to maintain coverage under their parents’ insurance plan, even if they are no longer considered a dependent. This can be helpful for students who live close to home, because they can continue to visit the same in-network healthcare providers that they’ve seen for years. Students may also be eligible for subsidies through the Federal ACA Marketplace.
4. Know what steps your college is taking to limit the spread of Covid.
Many colleges have scaled back their Covid-19 precautions, and have eliminated mask mandates and regular Covid tests for students and staff. If you have concerns about exposure to Covid or other viruses on campus, check your school’s website to learn their current policies.
College students may need guidance on anything from overall wellness to mental health care to emergency care. If a student isn’t comfortable managing their own health care, they may find it helpful to have support, whether it is from a parent or an expert health advisor. A health advisor can also assist in relaying key medical information from doctors at home to doctors at school.
If you or a loved one need help finding great local doctors, accessing concierge care, or navigating the healthcare system, reach out to Better Health Advisors.