What Your College-bound Student Should Know about Healthcare

Published: August 9, 2022

Amid all the buying, packing, and stressing to get your college student launched this fall, here’s a useful Health Checklist to get them ready and able to access medical care if they need it while at school.

Before They Go

  • First, download the MyWHA app (here) onto their phone. That way, they’ll always have their member ID on them, quickly find an in-network pharmacy or urgent care center, get one-touch call to their doctor, as well as to WHA Member Services, our 24-hour nurse advice line, and mental health services.
  • Get a checkup from your family doctor. If your dependent has an ongoing health concern or needs to get up to date on preventive care, this is the time for a checkup. It’s good to know everything is okay, and to get any needed shots or screenings before they go.
  • Have them read up on Student Access to Care in this flyer as it helps understand:
    • Emergency care is covered as a dependent of your WHA plan, if they need it. The ER is only for medical emergencies (such as a broken bone, severe abdominal pain, difficulty breathing).
    • Urgent care centers are good for minor issues such as cuts and abrasions, including stiches; respiratory infections such as sinus, colds, flu; as well as skin infections or rashes. And of course, there’s probably a student health center on campus. Have your student read this flyer.
  • Complete a HIPPA authorization for medical emergencies. For those age 18+, you may consider having a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release, which allows doctors to share information and medical records, should your student not be able to speak for themselves.

While Away at College

  • Have a health concern? Call our 24x7 nurse advice line at 877.793.3655. A registered nurse can help answer health questions, determine if next steps are needed, or refer them to an urgent care or nearby ER.
  • Telehealth options. Most doctors offer telehealth visits, so try to call your PCP first. But for 24x7 urgent care, WHA offers Teladoc to connect anytime/anywhere with a doctor, usually within 15 minutes, for when you can’t get to an urgent care center (or after-hours). Call 800.835.236 or download the Teladoc app from our webpage, then complete your medical history, so it’s ready to go if/when you need it.
  • Know how to get care for your emotional well-being too.  Your student should know how to access support from a mental health professional through our behavioral health partner at mywha.org/bh. It’s also good to know that they can now call or text 988, a new designated dialing code operated by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (SAMHSA). It’s a 24x7, free and confidential support line to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

With this health care homework done, a parent can (sort of) relax knowing that your college student can focus on classes, roommates, and other priorities while away from home.