On Saturday ,my daughter Olivia graduated from High School, and will attend Xavier University in the fall. It is both an exciting and concerned time for this parent who will find his daughter almost 7 hours away from home with some healthcare challenges. My daughter has battled Lupus for the last 6 years, and while she is in remission, a relapse can be devastating. As we prepare for her new adventure, I thought I would provide some guidance on our healthcare checklist from the “insurance guy” in hopes it might resonate with folks who will see their child leave at summers’ end .
- Get immunization records and make sure all vaccines are up to date. Get that one last visit to the pediatrician out of the way before going off to college
- If your child has a chronic condition, make sure he/she understands what providers are close by and ask your local physician for a referral if needed.
- Make sure your child can order their own prescription drugs! For 18 years, it has been my wife who has ordered prescription drugs for my daughter – now she is charged with this task.
- Understand the importance of staying in the network when covered under a health insurance policy. Check your insurance carrier for a list of in-network providers. If covered under and HMO, understand the difference between urgent and emergency care benefits
- Get a Medical ID bracelet if your child has a chronic condition and make sure the bracelet includes the exact medical condition, current medications, and primary care physician contact phone number.
- Once you get to campus, make sure you know where the Health Center is located and schedule a quick tour, and know the hours.
Finally, have mom’s telephone number on speed dial…. No wait, they don’t call anymore, they text, tweet, instagram, snapchat. Just don’t call dad!
A medical checklist for your child going to college is a simple and easy way to help protect your child and give parents peace of mind.