The college checklist will help you teach your student how to use their health care.

Sending your child off to college?

Teach them how to use their health plan. Here's what you can do.

This can be an emotional and exciting time. There are so many things to worry about, including health care. Once your child turns 18, they can make their own health decisions. So it's important that they know how to use their health plan.

Here's a helpful list for parents and students to go through together.

Download the Blue Cross mobile app

If your student is over 18 and doesn’t already have a member account, they can set it up by downloading our mobile app with their iPhone® or Android™ smartphone or tablet. Using the app is the most convenient way for your child to stay informed about their plan while away from home. With the app they’ll be able to quickly:

  • Register for their member account — just take a photo of your member ID card when the app asks for it.
  • Keep their information safe and secure with the fingerprint login.
  • Access their virtual member ID card.
  • See what’s covered.
  • Find in-network providers.

Show them how to use their plan

  • Talk about which type of plan they have and how it can affect costs and how they get care.
  • Discuss copayments. Make sure they know if they have one, how much it is and how to pay for it.
  • Review how networks can affect cost when your student uses their health coverage. Then, you can show them how to search for a doctor using and the app. 

Make sure they know how to get care at school

  • Check if there's a university health center and ask if it accepts your plan. 
  • Have them call the 24/7 Nurse Line for advice.
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members call: 1-800-775-BLUE (2583)
    Blue Care Network members call: 1-855-624-5214
  • Check your benefits to see if your student can sign up for affordable, online health care
  • Practice using the mobile app to find health clinics and urgent care centers close to campus.
  • Remind your student to ask providers to send their medical records to their primary doctor any time they get treatment. 
  • Explain the difference between going to the ER and urgent care.
  • Be sure they have essential medications at school. This could include prescription drugs, pain relievers and cold and flu medicines.

Tips for students

Use these tips to make sure you're prepared when you go to college.

  • Download the mobile appIf you have an iPhone® or Android™ smartphone, you can download our mobile app. You'll need your family's Blue Cross card to set up your online account. Then you'll be able to use a virtual ID card, view plan details, compare costs and find doctors near you. 
  • Learn how to check what's covered
  • Find and get care. Check to see if your university health center accepts your health care plan. Locate urgent care, doctors and ERs near you while you’re at school. 
  • Check out the College Health 101 course on the MI Blues Perspectives blog
  • Take the quiz. Now that you've studied, try testing your knowledge. Take the Health Care 101 Quiz to see how much you know about your health care. 

If your student is under 18: 

Consider submitting a minor consent form to the college or university health center. Michigan law requires consent for treatment of most illnesses or injuries to minors.

Contact the college or university for more information.

If your student is over 18:

Because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as a parent, you're legally unable to control your child's medical decisions. Talk to your student about becoming a patient advocate for them.