Understanding Health Care

Learning how to navigate health care in the U.S. is not only a daunting task for many St. Olaf students, health literacy is a national concern for many people of all ages.

In response, this page was made by St. Olaf students in order to provide students with the tools and support to help them tools to navigate health care with more confidence. By guiding our research based on student data along with staff and student interviews, this webpage covers a wide array of health care issues that students identify struggling with.

Where do I even start when I need health care?

Health Insurance Term Glossary

Quickly find the definitions for any unknown term on your health insurance.

How to Read A Health Insurance Card

Your perfect cheat sheet to understanding some of the basic information and benefits your health insurance offers.

How to Find a Healthcare Provider

Finding a health care provider that fits your needs can take time to do. Here’s how to do it.

How to Make a Doctor’s Appointment

A step-by-step guide to making a doctor’s appointment once you have a provider/office in mind.

Should I Go To Urgent Care or the ER?

Can’t see your normal health care provider but you need health care quickly? Make sure you’re going to the right place.

Skills to Learn

What types of health care skills are important?

Understanding Preventative Care

Most medical care that college students get is preventative. Learn more about why preventative care is important during your college years.

How to Interact With Your Health Care Provider

Prepare ahead by learning how to advocate for yourself during a medical appointment.

Understanding Prescription Labels

Knowing how to read your prescriptions can help ensure a speedy recovery or better management of chronic ailments.

Understanding Eye Glasses Prescriptions

Sometimes your eyes just don’t work. Figure out what’s wrong by understanding the terms on your eye prescription.

Financial Concerns

How to Read A Summary of Benefits

The summary of benefits (also called a plan summary), gives you a basic outline of what your insurance plan covers financially.

In-Network vs. Out of Network Providers

Using health providers that work with your insurance, or in-network, saves more money compared to out-of-network providers.

Ways to Reduce Costs of Health Care

Short-term and long-term methods to reduce the cost of your medical bills over the course of your lifetime.

What to Do When You Have Trouble Paying A Medical Bill?

Medical bills are stressful, but paying it upfront is never your only option.


Identity Resources

Student Health Insurance

All students attending St. Olaf are required to have health insurance to help cover medical costs during their time on the Hill. However, many students have trouble understanding health insurance. Here are some common questions that St. Olaf students have regarding health insurance.

If you are looking for a health insurance plan to cover St. Olaf’s health insurance requirement, learn more about the specific health insurance plans that St. Olaf offers for students, or MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace that offers low-cost health insurance to many students.