Getting care when you're away at college
If I need medical care when I'm away at school, where should I go?
If you expect to seek care outside the Kaiser Permanente Washington region, call Member Services at 1-888-901-4636. They can help you find the closest in-network care option.
You can also connect with Kaiser Permanente care by phone or online:
- 24-Hour Consulting Nurse Service 1-800-297-6877. Talk with a nurse for care advice, or find out if you need immediate medical attention. Get help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No copay or coinsurance for members.
- Online visit. For common health issues, get an online treatment plan and a prescription (if needed) from Kaiser Permanente pharmacies or mail order pharmacy. (Prescriptions from online visits must be filled at Kaiser Permanente medical offices or mail-order service.) Start your visit anytime. Responses are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, including holidays. No copay or coinsurance for most members.
You may have to pay up front and submit a claim for reimbursement if you get care outside a Kaiser Permanente service area. Reimbursement depends on your health plan and deductible. Learn what kinds of information you'll need to submit a claim.
What if I need urgent/emergency or follow-up care while I'm away at school?
No matter what Kaiser Permanente health plan you have, you're covered for emergency and urgent care worldwide.
Emergency care. If you have a medical emergency while away from the Kaiser Permanente Washington region, call 911 or the local emergency assistance number immediately. Then within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible, call our Notification Line at 1-888-457-9516 so we can follow up on your care.
Before you get follow-up care after an emergency visit, call Member Services at 1-888-901-4636. They may be able to recommend where to get care that is covered by your plan. Even if they can't, they can let you know what is covered and help you be prepared for any charges.
Urgent care. Urgent care is for conditions that require prompt attention but do not pose an immediate, serious threat to your health or life.
If you need urgent care while away from the Kaiser Permanente Washington region, call your personal physician during office hours (Pacific time). And at any time, wherever you are, you can call the consulting nurse helpline at the number on your Kaiser Permanente member identification card.
Copay and coinsurance for urgent care varies depending on whether you get care at a Kaiser Permanente facility or from an in-network provider.
How do I get covered care from Kaiser Permanente providers outside the Washington region?
You can get covered care at Kaiser Permanente facilities outside the Washington region. This includes California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington D.C. (Clark and Cowlitz counties in Washington state are in the Kaiser Permanente Northwest region.)
Before you access care for the first time in another Kaiser Permanente service area, call the Washington visiting member line at 1-800-446-4296.
If I go to my school's student health center for medical care, will it be covered by my plan?
This varies. Providers and services at the campus health center may or may not be covered by your Kaiser Permanente plan. Call Member Services at 1-888-901-4636 for help to find out whether your student health center is covered.
What if I don't have transportation to a clinic for services when I'm at school?
First, check out all the online tools and services available to you as a Kaiser Permanente member, such as the 24-hour consulting nurse helpline, online visits, and Care Chat. We aim to make it easy to get and manage your care anytime — whether you're on the mend or on the go.
Important tip: If you haven't already, register for your online account. Then it's quick and easy to sign on anytime at kp.org/wa. And once you're registered, you can download the Kaiser Permanente Washington mobile app.
Online tools available to all members:
- Find a doctor
- Order prescription refills
- Take a health risk assessment
- Review your health plan usage status
- View your coverage documents
- Browse a library of thousands of health topics
- Email Member Services
Services available when you get care at Kaiser Permanente Washington medical offices:
- Schedule an appointment
- Email your health care team
- See lab and test results
- Access your online medical records
- Review after-visit summaries
- Check your allergies and immunizations
- Use these services on the go with our mobile app
Is it better to purchase the health insurance offered by my school?
The answer to this depends on your individual situation. You'll need to compare coverage under your Kaiser Permanente plan with coverage offered by your school's plan.
To check coverage under your Kaiser Permanente health plan: Sign in at kp.org/wa and click Coverage & Costs, then select Coverage Documents under Benefits. You'll find coverage information in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage Agreement for your plan. You can also get proof of your Kaiser Permanente coverage.
Some schools require you to purchase additional coverage. Ask the school what is required.