6 "Healthy" Items for Your Back-to-College Checklist

In addition to backpacks, phone chargers and dorm room decorations, your back-to-college checklist should include a few items to help ensure your good health during the next school year.

“You’re juggling classes, homework and exams. It can be hard to do all of this stuff when you’re sick,” said Martin Lustick, M.D., a pediatrician who is also corporate medical director at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “But there are steps you can take now to make sure you quickly get the care you need when you’re ill.” 

Here are “checklist” items to consider as you return to college:

You're juggling classes, homework and exams. It can be hard to do all of this stuff when you're sick. But there are steps you can take now to make sure you quickly get the care you need when you're ill.

Martin Lustick, M.D., pediatrician & corporate medical director, Excellus BCBS

#1 On Your Checklist

Visit your doctor for an annual checkup. Make sure you’re in good health before starting classes! Ask about caring for yourself while you’re at college and how you should acquire needed prescriptions. Don’t forget vaccinations, including shots for influenza, meningitis, cervical cancer and whooping cough.

#2 On-Campus Student Health Facility?

Check whether your college or university has an on-campus student health facility or some other type of arrangement. Learn where it’s located and the hours of operation before a need arises.


#3 Get The Doctor’s Digits

Ask your doctor about the best way to reach him or her while you’re at school. You’ll often get the best care from the doctor who knows you best. Ask the doctor if they do visits by phone or video chat for those times when you can’t get to their office.


#4 FaceTime A Doc

You’re sick, and you can’t get to a doctor.

Instead, talk or video chat with a doctor for simple, non-emergency medical concerns. While the most ideal care is between you and your doctor, or face-to-face with a medical provider, telemedicine offers another option for those times when that just isn't possible. Telemedicine feels a lot like FaceTiming or Skyping, and can be done from your dorm room, apartment or between classes.

Register now for telemedicine so you’re ready to use the app when you’re sick. For more information, go to ExcellusBCBS.com/HealthCareLive.

#5 Got Insurance?

Save yourself a hassle later on by registering now for an online account on your health insurer’s website. You may “unlock” a bunch of important benefits, including instant access to your member card and a telemedicine service that lets you video chat with a doctor.  

#6 No Insurance?

Your college may offer a student health plan, or you can visit the NY State of Health marketplace for options.

If you need help finding a health plan, Excellus BCBS has licensed agents to help you over the phone (1-888-370-7098) and facilitated enrollers you can meet with in person (call 1-800-234-4781) to schedule an appointment. The facilitated enrollers can see if you qualify for financial help, explain all the insurance stuff and help you choose a plan.

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Contact: Joy Davia Auch, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, (585) 238-4374

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to about 1.5 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools. To learn more, visit excellusbcbs.com.

Source: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield