I sat down with Geraldine Taylor, Associate Dean & Director for Health & Wellness at Bentley University to talk about college health and staying healthy on campus. To learn more about college health and great apps to stay healthy, check out my previous post here.
Why is it so important for students to either be covered through their school for health insurance or to be on their parents’ plan?
Because the cost of health care is so high and all of us get sick one time or another, all students should have health insurance. the state of Massachusetts requires all students to have health insurance with certain benefits. This is a very good thing . Just an ER visit can cost several hundred dollars. Health insurance can defray that cost. Many people think that having a high deductible plan is the way to go because it is cheaper to buy. If one has a high deductible plan – This means that if they need health care and say the cost of an ER visit is a thousand dollars and they have a $2000 deductible plan then they will have to pay the thousand dollars or up to $2000 out of pocket until they are covered. This is a risk some people take. It is a risk I don’t recommend.
The affordable care act has just put in place some mandated benefits to ensure that students have adequate I stance to prevent them from going into significant debt to pay health care costs.
What are some of the increased risks that college students face in terms of their health?
Young people often feel invincible and if they have been in good health all of their lives believe that nothing will happen to them. Of course we all wish to feel this way. However things happen and people can often get sick or injured when they least suspect it. College students can have injuries from accidents, have appendicitis or even kidney stones to mention a few health issues.
What is the best way for students to take care of their health while in college/living on campus?
College students have heard about how to stay healthy since they were kids, these ideas are not new and sometimes seem almost too simple – get enough sleep, eat a nutritious healthy diet, limit alcohol, don’t do drugs, wash your hands, don’t share drinks or food and learn good stress reduction strategies. Have good friends and good relationships and seek health care and counseling early if you need it.
Are there any tools or mobile apps do you recommend for students to use for keeping healthy?
There are some great podcasts on the counseling office website to destress!