Student health services provide affordable health care for students

Raya Torres was living in the Philippines when she was accepted to Long Beach State and was stressed about meeting immunization requirements because not all of the vaccines she needed were available overseas.

But during an impromptu visit to campus, Torres was able to be seen on the same day and get vaccinated for the first time against COVID, a free service offered by student health services.

“They really went out of their way to make me feel welcome,” said Torres, a second-year journalism major. “Over the past year, when I’ve emailed them asking questions, I can always count on a response within 24 hours. I really appreciated the speed with which they answered my questions.

Student Health Services at CSULB, a “nationally accredited clinic,” provides students with free or low cost health services with over 60 staff working to meet student health and wellness needs. health educator Allison Borwell told The Daily 49er.

Torres’ second vaccination is scheduled for next month, but says she is “very interested in exploring” the services offered by the student health services.

Beyond vaccinations, SHS offers students free tests for those that can be done in-house, whether it’s a pregnancy test or a strep throat culture, Borwell said. X-rays and tuberculosis tests are also offered by health services to students.

CSULB students pay a student health fee of $ 75 through their tuition fees, which gives them access to student health services. Health insurance is not compulsory and there is no co-payment. It is always free to see a health care provider, although students must pay fees for some labs, pharmacies and vaccination clinics, according to their website.

If the test is to be sent off campus, there is a small cost that students will have to pay, which varies depending on the price charged by the university.

Since SHS is a non-profit organization, students will only have to pay the amount charged to the university.

Whether it’s reproductive health, sports medicine, or gender-affirming care, SHS has affordable resources that students can take advantage of, said Heidi Girling, Office of Wellness and Gender Coordinator. health.

“All of your tours are always free,” Girling said. “These are laboratory tests and pharmaceuticals and [vaccinations] it costs money.

Insurance is not accepted at Student Health Services because the 23 campuses of CSU have chosen not to charge for health insurance. The free services are only available to all enrolled students, Girling said.

However, Girling recommends that students have health insurance in case something happens, such as a fracture or lump in the breast that requires a specialist, and students should be seen offsite.

If a student needed surgery, the clinic would send them to a hospital as there are limits to the clinic’s services, which are only accessible Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Students with insurance may benefit from student health services in situations where a student has to pay out of pocket for the STI test. Tests cost an average of $ 200 to $ 250, but student health services tests cost just $ 60, Girling said.

SHS is also home to a pharmacy that sells around 100 different products, Girling said, ranging from pharmaceutical drugs and sunscreen to low-cost lubricants for students, faculty and staff.

Although students would have to pay for antibiotics if needed, the total cost would be around $ 4, Borwell said.

“We don’t make money in our clinic,” Girling said. “Exactly what you pay is exactly what we pay for. We were able to negotiate very good prices.

Students can also apply for Family PACT, a California program that provides free reproductive health care to low-income men and women, Borwell said.

Most students qualify for the program, which offers students free STI tests, birth control, and condoms. It only takes ten minutes at the clinic to register.

In addition to offering resources to support the physical health of students, SHS also provides students with mental health assistance.

Students can receive counseling on nutrition, sexual assault, smoking cessation or attend workshops on stress management and sexual health.

The goal of SHS, Girling said, is to use a “holistic holistic approach to wellness” to help support student education. Girling notes that “a healthy student is a productive student.”

“If we take good care of you and you have access to affordable, confidential and one-on-one health care, you will end up being a better student,” Girling said.

About Evelyn C. Heim

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