Services provided by Student Health Centers in US Universities

Every college or university in the US has a health center dedicated especially to students who attend those institutions. Unlike in India, these student health centers are very well maintained and provide primary care whenever a student needs it. The cost of treatment at such centers is either very low or are covered under university or private insurance plans.

In this blog, Student Cover highlights the ways of financing treatment at student health centers and major benefits and services that these health centers in universities and colleges in the US provide to students.

Staff members at Student Health Centers include Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners who may be employed by the health center either full-time or part-time.

Financing treatment at Student Health Center

While the cost of treatment may vary from university to university, the student health centers are nevertheless very cheap as compared to private hospitals in the US. Broadly, there are two ways in which one can meet the health center expenses depending upon the university or college that one is studying in.

  • University/College Sponsored or Private Health Insurance – Most colleges and universities in the US either have their own sponsored student health insurance plans or ask students to purchase individual health insurance plans from private health insurance providers. These health insurance plans not only provide cover to students for the expenses incurred during treatment in health centers, but also meet a substantial proportion of the cost of medicines.
  • Health Center Fees – Some colleges and universities charge a certain amount of money from students per semester for availing health center facilities. These may be to meet the cost of treatment when a student is sick, needs medicine or for other general practitioner services availed in the student health center.

Services & Benefits at Student Health Center:

  • – Primary Care: Primary healthcare include conducting regular check-up of sick students, addressing wound or infection, sore throat, fever, sprains influenza among other things.
  • – HIV & STD Screening: Many Student Health Centers these days also provide facilities for conducting test for HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases. Students can also avail facilities like condoms and contraceptives including emergency contraceptives from student health centers.
  • – Free or low cost Immunization: Each year or before the onset of flu season, many student health centers provide vaccinations to students in order to help their body fight germs and infections. Most student health insurance plans cover such vaccinations which are either provided free of cost or are very cheap.
  • – Medicines at low cost or free: Pharmacies of these student health centers are well stocked with all major medicines. Students can purchase these medicines from health centers either for free or at a very low cost based on their coverage by their respective health insurance plans.
  • – Free de-addiction counseling and medication: In recent times, due to the increase in number of students suffering from drug abuse, alcoholism and other types of psychotropic substance abuse, many student health centers have started providing services for the same. These include counseling sessions with affected students as well as medication for those who are already suffering from such additions.
  • – Free mental health care: Many student health centers are providing counseling, treatment and care for those who are suffering from mental health problems. This is done in order to help such students integrate well with other students in the college or university.
  • – Referral for specialized treatment: While student health centers provide basic and primary treatment, they also help students by referring them to hospitals and doctors for specialized treatment for certain diseases, infections or illnesses which cannot be treated in student health centers.

Let’s Wrap Up!

Student Health Centers located in universities and colleges provide low cost healthcare alternative to students. These are staffed by qualified medical practitioners and provide a range of services from primary healthcare to prescription drugs. Over the years, their scope and services have also increased to include mental healthcare, de-addiction counseling, HIV and STD screening. Treatment in most of these is covered by student health insurance plans or through semester-wise health center fees.

Disclaimer: The content of the following article is based on the personal research of the writer. Readers are advised to exercise discretion. Student Cover will not be liable for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this article.

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