Health Care

by Angelean Hendrix

There’s been something on my mind lately.

As a former corporate worker, I am delighted with the health care benefits offered to graduate students.  If you don’t think so, ask anyone who has worked for corporate America and you will be told every companies benefits are different.  Some are better than others, and I know when I was in banking, I had really good health benefits.  Since then though, they have been hit or miss until grad school.

Why do I mention this?

In my early 20’s I didn’t realize what I had until it was gone.  (Wait! There’s a song about that)

Check ups, flu shots, physical therapy for injuries.  They may never be as affordable.  For you may stumble upon a job that has similar benefits, chances are you will be paying your premiums out of your pocket.  If you are not making serious bank, this can really lower your net salary.

So, make sure you are really taking care of yourself.  The stress of these years can take a toll on your health in ways few people anticipate.

At least before you take that first post-doc or position, make sure all of your tests, dental, vision, or anything else you may need is caught up.  You may have a lapse in benefits or time.

On a similar note: If you are relocating, for any reason, get a personal copy of ALL of your medical records.  Yes, ALL of them.  When I first moved here it took a year and hours of phone calls to get all of my records transferred.  It may cost a little, but you are entitled to your information.  So start keeping up with it in your own files.  You’ll thank me later.

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