By Casey Noenickx
For Unwind magazine
For the variety of ailments college students experience, the University of Maryland Health Center provides services to help remedy nearly any condition. Not only is its flexibility extremely useful, but the Health Center’s cost-effective health care makes it truly successful.
All undergraduate students enrolled in six or more credits must have health insurance and are required to provide proof of insurance yearly, according to the University Health Center. For students without insurance, this university offers a student health insurance plan, in part with UnitedHealthCare.
If students have a private health insurance plan, they may waive the student health insurance plan. But since health insurance is mandatory, if students do not complete the waiver, the university automatically enrolls them in the student health insurance plan.
Almost all of the services that the health center provides need to be paid for. Nearly every service is covered by the student health insurance plan. The plan’s premium is $1,509 for the entire calendar year.
“I am not sure what it is like to not be on the health insurance,” sophomore chemical engineering major Mieko Vail said of the student health insurance plan. “Being out of state, it is a nice thing to have available to me.”
In specific instances, students can choose to pay directly for particular services instead of paying through insurance, if they ask to do so before their appointment.
For services including mental health, nutrition, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, tobacco cessation and meditation, the health center does not bill private insurance, but the student health insurance plan can cover all of the associated expenses, according to the health center’s website.
“I find that for the majority, people are helpful and have provided well for me,” Vail said. “I have a prescription at the pharmacy and have been treated for a sprained ankle.”
Although Vail has had no issues with her insurance, she hasn’t always been successful with the services at the health center.
“I did have one experience where I was very frustrated having symptoms of a fever after getting the flu shot and the lady [at the health center] could not help me and was very hard to deal with,” Vail said. “Sometimes [their] service isn’t the most efficient but again, the majority of times, I am in and out without problems.”
A typical visit to the health center can range from $50 to $125 for out-of-pocket cost, and referrals for further treatment lead to more expenses. Even though it can be costly, the goal of the health center is to keep students healthy and successful.
“Overall, I would say that there is nothing that prevents me from getting the services or medications I need,” Vail said.