Things you should know concerning your health and COVID-19 before going back to school. As the government is yet to decide when schools (pre-primary, primary, post-primary and tertiary) will reopen for academic activities, there is a recordable degree of debatable discussions regarding the ethics behind the decision and the associated health risks of in-person instruction.
As this discussion unravels, I see two important gaps which should be taken into cognitive consideration, these includes:
- Who should pay the cost of treating the inevitable COVID-19 cases that will occur; and
- What do college students need to know about their coverage?
Underlisted is a few things you should know as a pupil/student concerning your health insurance and COVID-19 before going back to school, it is also worthy of note that your guidance also should be intimated about this health insurance coverage when it comes to COVID-19.
Telemedicine is a healthcare feature that allows healthcare providers to carry out healthcare practices with their patients remotely when the patients are not physically present. This feature has been in existence for years, but COVID-19 outbreak has made some healthcare systems move dramatically from a physical medical consultation online consultation where healthcare providers schedule an appointment with their patients.
During this pandemic, students may need to address other health needs, but may not feel comfortable going to their school clinic or neighbourhood clinic in person. Hence there is a need for that student to undergo a virtual consultation with a healthcare professional rather than having to take such risk of having to go to the clinic.
Know Your School’s COVID-19 Preventive Measures
As universities and colleges warm up to reopen their residential campus, it is expected that there are detailed plans with necessary protocols put in place. These protocols should include measures like social distancing, daily symptom checking and reporting/regular testing.
In these plans, any student or students who are tested positive or are suspected to be COVID infected will likely be isolated, all contact person(s) isolated as well, retested, contact tracing and other measures to protect the student and their campus. However, treatment of complicated cases of COVID-19 is another story entirely. Students will certainly be connected with treatment.
For students who decide to stay at home this period, for reasons of their college or university offering online courses only, an important consideration as to if their student health insurance plan covers out-of-network care should be a priority. A student may be in a different city, state or even country from their school, which means that the network associated with the student plan might not be accessible.
Certainly, telemedicine services can actually provide a workaround on this issue, but students may have care needs, unrelated to COVID-19, that require in-person care. Network-care coverage generally comes with a higher deductible and greater financial responsibility for the patient.
These high costs can make quite a recordable difference in access to the care. The less privileged will be at greater risk of delayed or foregone care that can lead to negative health consequences.
Students and their parents/guardians really must understand their wards’ health insurance coverage, whether they go back to school or not. During this pandemic, one needs to stay informed. Minimizing risks is critical, but it’s also important to understand what a positive test could mean financially. Students should reach out to their student health office and health insurance company to get the facts about their coverage and what their financial responsibility would be if they were to get COVID-19 and need treatment.