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Possible health problems in college?

penguin369penguin369 Posts: 188Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in College Life
I'm a first year from the West Coast who is currently in the Northeast for college. Since I already have health insurance, my parents did not pay for the extremely expensive one my college offered. However, the only hospitals and doctors under this plan are all the way across the country, and hard for me to get to right now. Normally, this would not be an issue- I take care of myself, am athletic, am trying to keep up a good diet and am covered if an emergency happened and I had to be hauled to the ER. I have had no health issues in the past.
Recently though, I've noticed several symptoms that could possibly be associated with a serious condition. I just assumed I was panicking- obviously, my diet and lifestyle has changed a lot in college and its hard for me to eat healthy. Unfortunately, I just discovered another symptom that is definitely a sign of something more serious, and everywhere I've looked on the internet says that it needs to be checked by a doctor immediately. There are no local doctors for me to go to, and I don't want to spend a huge amount of money if it turns out nothings wrong, and I'll be all right in another couple days if I change my lifestyle a bit.

Obviously, I need to do something, but I'm not sure how to go about it. I am going to write to my doctor today, and as her what to do but does anyone here have any advice? Anyone experience something similar?
Post edited by penguin369 on

Replies to: Possible health problems in college?

  • fishymomfishymom Posts: 1,849Registered User Senior Member
    Can you not go to student health at your school? Also, insurance plans have contingencies for when you are away from home, call your insurance company. They will be able to direct you to a doctor in your area that you can see under your plan.
  • Bartleby007Bartleby007 Posts: 491Registered User Member
    Call up your parents' health insurance company (the one that provides your healthcare coverage) and figure out whether a visit to a local ER or urgent care clinic would be covered. If there is a place nearby, go there and get checked out.

    If the issue isn't serious, consider this a "dry run" for when something bad might happen medically. You should know exactly what to do/where to go in an emergency. Moreover, it would be best to identify/select a local primary care physician that you can see while you're at school. All kinds of health issues can arise while you are at college. It's nice to get checked out by someone who knows you.

    If the issue is serious and emergent, present yourself to a local ER immediately. Paying for the health services you'll require is a secondary concern.

    In the event that your parents' healthcare provider will not cover any healthcare that you receive while you are at college...the choice is clear. You need to have healthcare coverage that you can actually use. Sign up for the student coverage offered at your school. It may be more expensive but...hey...piece of mind is worth something, right?
  • ThisMortalSoilThisMortalSoil Posts: 928Registered User Member
    And to think some people in our country think our healthcare system is totally perfect...

    Call your insurance and ask what can be done.
  • MJP2558MJP2558 Posts: 132Registered User Junior Member
    Our New England HMO (Tufts) does not cover my son as a student out of our local healthcare network. I was forced to purchase the colleges in state healthcare plan to give him some type of coverage (total ripoff). BUt....If you are covered under your parents health insurance plan go to the emergency room at the local hospital near your school for treatment. Most if not all plans cover emergency treatment anywhere in the country. Had a simialr situation with my son, he went to the emergency room, had tests, was treated, and our insurance covered it in full. Good Luck. Also if you feel you can wait for treatment, you will be home in a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving Break, you can see you local doctor at home to avoid the cost issue. Good Luck.
  • penguin369penguin369 Posts: 188Registered User Junior Member
    Sadly, I won't be getting back home until Christmas which is why I'm getting so concerned about this right now. I've written to my physician at home about my symptoms and am waiting for a response. I have an appointment scheduled for tomorrow in my colleges health center (I called the insurance company- from what I can understand, it's covered). Thanks for the advice everyone! I'm just hoping I'm overreacting right now.
  • spectasticspectastic Posts: 847- Member
    you can also google those symptoms.
  • ThisMortalSoilThisMortalSoil Posts: 928Registered User Member
    ^^^As a hypochondriac that is a horrible idea. I once had a five minute freak-out where I was certain I had MS or ALS because of googling a symptom. Turns out I probably just needed to eat a banana.
  • reesezpiecez103reesezpiecez103 Posts: 1,246Registered User Senior Member
    Oh god, I have spent the last two years dealing with the same problem, unfortunately, and it's not easily resolved. I was seriously injured playing my sport freshman year, and since then it's been extremely difficult to get treatment that is also covered by my insurance since my insurance won't cover anyone Minnesota. I would suggest that the first thing you do is call your insurance company, pronto, and ask them about coverage of possible providers in your area.

    Also, be careful - some places take certain providers, but not your specific plan. Most places around here take Blue Cross, which is my provider, but do not accept my specific plan, which has been frustrating. It's taking a lot of negotiating with my insurance company to get them to cover my physical therapy and rehab here, and fortunately the PT place where I go is nice enough to offer me a discounted rate since they're not in-network. But I would either go to the ER if it's serious, or else call your insurance company and start negotiating about possible in-network providers, stat.
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