The Price of Wellness

Skyler Black

A proper health facility that insures the well-being of university students is something that is a necessity. A large amount of students do not have the luxury of having health insurance. Every semester us students pay a fee of $94 known only as a “Health Fee.” The problem with this fee is each time you visit Health Services, you are required to pay more money.

An office visit with a physician, nurse practitioner or a physician assistant, without insurance, costs $20. Many insurance companies do not cover the full price of the visits, any procedures or any medication through the pharmacy.

Many vital things for students to have access to, such as x-rays, are not covered through the Health Fee. X-rays, visits, in-house labs, immunizations, physical therapy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) all fall under that category.

According to Medical Billing and Coding, around 28 percent of college students do not have health insurance. While going to Health Services is a cheaper alternative to an off campus facility, the amount of money an uninsured student will shell out over the span of a college career is astounding. For one semester, students are required to pay a $94 health fee along with paying for each visit. On average, a student will visit two times a year, for a $20 fee for each visit. This does not include the medication which on average is $10 a prescription. STD testing is $25 per disease screened for and strep tests are $23. All of these expenses equal out to around $192. That is for only one semester and if you only get one prescription that entire time.

Being a male, I actually pay significantly less per semester than females do. Each semester, to receive birth control, women need to undergo an annual physical which costs $15 per lab that is screened. When you understand that all of these services are necessary for your health and well-being, it is perplexing that we are required to pay for every one of these separately when we are already paying so much money in fees.

A system in which students without insurance are punished through payment after payment should not exist in this day and age. I do have insurance but recently found out that I still have to pay a co-pay, which is the same amount of money an uninsured student has to pay, per visit.

I am angry about this system. Other students should be angry about this system. Healthcare for our community is of the utmost importance. If the university has enough money to build a brand new facility, then it has enough for students not to empty their bank accounts to get a check up.