All adults in the United States are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. With vaccine distribution reaching the general public, a growing proportion of students are now vaccinated. In turn, those vaccinated students should have received a vaccine card.
It’s worthwhile for schools to understand what COVID-19 vaccine cards are and what uses they may have. This article provides an overview of COVID-19 vaccine cards and considerations for supporting students that have COVID-19 vaccine cards.Continue reading
Colleges and universities play a critical role in helping promote and provide accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines. Students getting vaccinated can be a driving force for a safe return to campus.
As schools navigate the legal risks and logistics of return-to-campus plans and student vaccinations, this article explores considerations for increasing student vaccine acceptance.
Building Student Confidence
It is not unusual for colleges to require certain vaccinations. This was true even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many schools will require students to get vaccinated for COVID-19 when they return in the Fall. Those that are not requiring it are strongly encouraging students to receive the vaccine. Some students may be hesitant to get the vaccine or feel that they do not need it since they are young and healthy. Education and communication are critical for increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.
Here are some steps for increasing student confidence in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Communicate proactively, compassionately, and transparently to help build student buy-in and support of vaccination plans or general vaccination. Communications that lead with values, like unity or interconnectedness, are also effective because they can motivate students to act.
- Educate students about COVID-19 vaccines—including development, efficacy, benefits, side effects, access, and coverage—and how they can talk to others about vaccines. Stick to the facts and avoid using jargon and strong language. To be most impactful, schools could leverage multiple organizational channels to reinforce vaccine messaging.
- Listen to students’ concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. Two-way communication is especially important if some students are still studying working remotely.
- Offer flexibility for students with signs and symptoms after vaccination, such as the opportunity to retake tests and assignments, if they are missed due to post-COVID vaccine symptoms.
- Invite students to make their decisions to get vaccinated visible and celebrate them. Reinforce that students getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can accelerate the return of larger campus gatherings and study abroad opportunities.
- Encourage students to be vaccine champions. Going one step further, schools could appoint, and train interested students to become vaccination ambassadors who share their personal stories and address any student concerns.
- Discuss COVID-19 vaccines in school settings where students can ask questions and engage in respectful and open dialogues.
- Ask faculty and staff who are respected in the student community to help build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine acceptance will not happen overnight, so allow time for that confidence to build. Students who are hesitant at first may become more assured after their peers, family, and friends get vaccinated. Remember that schools continue to play a big role in helping students navigate the pandemic.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available nationwide to everyone 16 years of age and older, it is time for colleges and universities to prepare to put plans into action. For some institutions, these plans may include a vaccination program.Continue reading
It may be frustrating to learn that your college or university is requiring you to have health insurance. You are young and healthy and are already saddled with piling student debt.
Here is some food for thought: young + healthy ≠ invincible.
Let’s look at it like this:
If you drive a car, you are required to have auto insurance. If you have a house, you need home insurance. We don’t expect accidents to happen, but when they do, we are prepared so we do not have to worry about forking over thousands of dollars to cover the property damage out of pocket.
Similarly, we should also prepare for unexpected illnesses and accidents that require medical care because the last thing you want to worry about when in the hospital is exuberant medical bills and pesky collectors – and we are sure you’ve heard the stories about the people who received bills for hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even a million) after a hospital stay.
And although college-aged individuals tend to be healthier overall, there are certain areas of concern among this group – specifically being mental and sexual health. Depression and anxiety-related concerns have risen dramatically among the younger generation over the years, and the pandemic has only made things worse – which is why we ensure that you have access to the BEST care and comprehensive services for behavioral health, not just physical.
We have also recently seen outbreaks of COVID-19 cases among college students who have recently gone back to campus – although the risk of life-threatening complications is less, why would you want to risk it during a pandemic? At the end of the day, we just want you to be healthy, we want to see you graduate, and we want to see you succeed. That’s why we want you to have health insurance.
The coronavirus (COVID‐19) outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation. As you work hard to keep your students safe and protected from the outbreak, we want you to know that we are working hard to be there for you.
Already, we’ve seen the impact of the pandemic on colleges and universities including school closures with online instruction requirements, cancellation of study abroad programs, and an influx of questions from students and parents regarding coverage for testing and treatment of COVID‐19.
The AHP team is prepared and fully staffed to partner with you and our health insurance partners to provide quick and accurate responses to these inquiries. We will continue to be available through normal communication channels to CARE for you and your students. The health and safety of our employees, students, and clients is our priority.
To ensure our employees are in the best position to navigate issues arising from COVID-19, AHP has created a Care Task Force Team, comprised of company leaders across all departments. This team touches base daily to discuss the latest developments as well as any changes that need to be made to current work practices so we can continue to deliver exceptional service to our clients.
Some of the ongoing actions we are taking include:
- Conversations with carriers regarding how COVID-19 will affect student health insurance plans
- Ongoing analysis of waiver & enrollment data to provide updates on how these are affected
- Updates and insights through our newsletter series
- Discussions with clients surrounding their response and how we can support
- Virtual support at student orientation either through a live webinar or pre-recorded video
A few of the steps we have already taken include:
- Coordinated with carriers to add COVID-19 updates on each college and university website
- Conducted internal training on how to answer questions around the testing and treatment of COVID-19
- Ensured access to telemedicine programs so students can receive 24/7 remote medical care
- Developed a contingency plan for AHP employees to work remotely to continue service and protect the health of our employees
- Provided access to an AHP Care Hotline through our Student Assistance Program to support students through this stressful time
We want you to know our plans cover your students whether they are on campus or remotely studying from home. Remember, our team is just a call away. Please let us know if we can support in any way.
President / CEO