Health insurance basics for college students | Blue Cross Blue Shield
3 essential steps young adults should take to manage their health.
insurance basics & your health
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- find insurance. find bcbs coverage options in your area.
- access your benefits. Find your local bcbs company to ask a question, change your coverage, or view your plan details.
- under 26? you have health insurance options. If you’re a young adult with questions about health insurance, you’re not alone.
- 5 Tips for Choosing a New Primary Care Physician. Your PCP is your medical “home.” is the doctor you see for most medical needs.
- health glossary. look up healthcare terms.
- the health of america. Learn about the latest trends in health care and how bcbs companies are taking action to address racial disparities in health care.
As fall approaches, millions of college students head to school. they are considering whether they will get along with the new roommates, thinking about finding classes, and wondering how far their dorm is from the cafeteria. not in their minds? health insurance, or where to go for medical care.
Reading: How to get health insurance in college
We’ve created a quick three-step guide to cover the basics, so you can focus on the most pressing matters of the new school year (class, of course). you will need:
- make sure you have health insurance.
- Know where to go if you get sick.
- choose a pharmacy.
Step 1: Make Sure You Have Health Insurance
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First things first: Students need health insurance coverage. there are a few options to find a plan:
- stay on parent’s plan: students under the age of 26 have the option to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan. If you select this option, it’s a good idea to contact your Blue Cross Blue Shield carrier for details on out-of-state coverage if you need it.
- student plans: many schools also offer student coverage, which can be a good option for basic care. contact your school for details.
- Health Insurance Marketplace: Another option is to purchase health insurance on the Marketplace, which may allow you to qualify for financial help from the government to pay for your plan. You can also find out if you qualify for Medicaid.
step 2: know where to go
Once you have health insurance, take a moment to learn where you can use it if you get sick. visit your bcbs company website to research your options. You can also search for in-network doctors and urgent care centers near campus using our bcbs health provider locator. This is a very important step because visits to an out-of-network doctor or hospital will be much more expensive or may not be covered at all, depending on your plan.
Many colleges also offer student health clinics on campus, which can be a convenient option for those with limited transportation off campus. check with your campus clinic directly to find out what insurance is accepted.
step 3: choose a pharmacy
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Whether you take prescription medications regularly or just need to fight an illness, it’s important to make sure you get the medications you need while you’re at school. students who take prescriptions on an ongoing basis may want to consider using a mail-order pharmacy, which ships medications directly to you. this can be a time and money saving option for students. Contact your bcbs carrier for more information on mail order options for your plan.
Because mail order pharmacies require advance notice to ship prescriptions, it’s also a good idea to identify a local pharmacy for immediate needs. Some schools may provide pharmacy services on campus, but a quick search online can help you identify other locations nearby. Be sure to check which pharmacies accept your bcbs coverage before sending your prescription there.
If you have questions about using your coverage at any time during the school year, the fastest way to get answers is by calling the 1-800 number on the back of your bcbs member ID card. you can also find your bcbs company on twitter or facebook.