Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Student Health Fee: Providing Students With Invaluable Services.

Every term, students begrudgingly pay the often obligatory 'health fee'. In the past, I've paid twelve dollars for this fee, upwards to the fifty five dollars I pay each quarter now. What I didn't realize before was all the items included in this fee! A nurse from the health center on my campus spoke to class today and handed out fliers for a number of services. We're talking dental, reproductive, fitness, nutrition and a bunch of other services. On a more amusing note, she also passed around a bag full of strawberry dams and flavored condoms. She recommended against trying the chocolate condoms!

Family PACT program: If you go to school in California, check and see if your campus provides this California State Department of Health Services program. It provides access to family planning services for low income residents of California (it's not limited to just students!!!). What's also neat about this is that you don't have to provide documentation such as taxes or pay stubs. All a student has to do is fill out the application and you are notified within fifteen minutes if you qualify. FREE services provided through this program include: all FDA approved contraceptive methods (cervical caps, diaphragms, Depo-Provera, sterilization, etc.), physical exam, pap smear, HIV testing, condoms, STI testing, family planning counseling, UTI services and dysplasia services. Seriously, free. All of this.

Counseling Services: My university offers counseling with licensed professionals for an extensive list of issues/problems. Even if you just need someone to talk to about the stresses of being a student, their doors are wide open. They even allow same day appointments.

Fitness Facilities and Nutritional Clinic: The previous campus I went to required a fee for students to use the gym. At this university, students are able to use the swimming pool and fitness room during limited hours at no charge. Furthermore, there is a 'campus walk' that is 1.5 miles and highlighted for students with a spare half hour between classes. No gear is needed to take the quick and refreshing walk. Furthermore, nutritional counseling, diet analysis, body fat assessment and dietary supplement facts are offered completely free by the Nutrition Clinic on campus. Nifty pamphlets/fliers are also created that give nutritional facts for the fast food places on campus, as well as a list of different activities students can do on campus to get exercise in (along with the calories burned per hour for these activities).

Chiropractic Clinic: I will definitely make an appointment within the upcoming weeks here. Chiropractic interns supervised by a faculty member offer spinal adjustments, prevention and treatment for low back and neck problems. They also provide patients with related exercises to improve posture, flexibility, coordination and pain.

Doctor's Visits: If you are filling ill or running a fever while at school, it costs nothing to drop in to the health center for an immediate consultation. They even provide sterilized environments for sick students to lay down.

The following four services require fees, but often are significantly lower than you'd pay elsewhere:

Pharmacy: According to the nurse who gave the presentation, the pharmacy on campus offers lower prices than competitors due to low overhead costs. She recommended that students check out filling their prescriptions on campus rather than going to a drug store to save money.

Dental Clinic: Cleaning, x-ray and oral exam are performed by a doctor along with a written evaluation for a mere fifty dollars. Furthermore, fillings range from forty to fifty dollars!

Optometry Clinic: Eye exams including visual screening (with dilation) and refraction are a mere forty dollars. Further more, glasses start at 115 dollars. Contact lenses and exam are sixty five dollars.

Massage Therapy: When I went and got a massage some time back, I paid sixty five dollars for an hour massage. On my campus, the same is offered for twenty five dollars! Furthermore, half hour massages are only fifteen dollars. This is ridiculously cheap.

Acupuncture Services: While I won't be trying this out, it is only twenty five dollars an hour with a half hour being fifteen dollars. Our acupuncturist on campus uses Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture which is suppose to have a stronger scientific leaning rather than mystical.

All in all, I'm amazed at all the services offered on my campus and encourage other students to check out what their health fee pays for.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Wow. I would take advantage of all the services you have now. When you're done with school and have to pay for health insurance on your own, it's going to be unpleasant. It's expensive for most people but a necessary thing. When you're in the workforce, check out HSA's (health savings accounts). My company's been selling me on this idea and it's not bad.

Good luck!