Your “Away From Home” College Student Gets Sick…Then What?
There are so many tasks to complete, decisions to make, as your student heads off to college. I was surprised to find ourselves getting boosters on some of our son’s immunizations and a new whooping cough vaccine. These students are living in really close dorm quarters and sharing germs right and left; and I’d love to meet a parent whose child actually cleaned up after themselves!
So, it is inevitable that, at the very least, your student will get sick, share a virus, have some sort of minor incident, and mom isn’t there to take over and handle the entire thing. In fact, given the fact that we parents so automatically diagnose early a sniffle, pain, fever, and many other symptoms, it is highly possible that your student will be quite ill before they do something about it, or even reach out to you for advice.
This is one of those essential life skills that needs to be addressed before heading off. And in addition to how to be responsible for their own medical care, be sure to cover what medical coverage is available…both the campus clinic and private coverage.
I found our son using our medical identification card like a debit card without any awareness of what our cost was going to be… even taking himself to the emergency room one time when he had a severe reaction to too much caffeine (a BIG problem with college students) in the middle of the night and was certain it was very serious (no he didn’t call us first.) It occurred to me that I had not ever told him about our plan coverage, co-payments, doctors in and out of plan, prescription costs, and generic versus brand name medications (even over the counter.) So once again, a costly lesson after the fact, he now has a new perspective (and a new future expense to worry about as he’ll be graduating soon, getting a job, and his OWN insurance coverage – right?!).
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