Student Health Services (SHS) is an important service provided to your student through the UM health fee. Parents often have questions about the services made available by this department. In an attempt to answer these questions, the information requested most frequently is provided below.
Question: What does the health fee pay for?
The health fee covers unlimited visits to SHS. When deemed necessary by SHS staff, a student may be referred to the local supervising physician, Dr. Jonathan Merkle, for further evaluation. Depending on the reason for the referral, the health fee may cover this visit or the student’s health insurance may be utilized. Expenses incurred beyond that provided by the university are the responsibility of the student.
Question: What services are provided in Student Health Services?
SHS provides basic medical care for minor illness and injury, including common colds, urinary tract infections and seasonal allergies. They provide off-campus referrals when students require services that SHS does not have available (such as labs, x-rays, etc.). The department is staffed by a physician’s assistant and a registered nurse. The physician’s assistant, practicing under the direction of the local physician, can write prescriptions for select medications, such as antibiotics. When prescribed, some antibiotics can be purchased in the clinic. Controlled substances (such as medications for ADHD, anxiety, pain) are not available through SHS.
Question: How does my student go about using this service?
It is preferred that your student call 205-665-6275 to make an appointment. This cuts down on wait time and exposure to other illnesses. SHS is located in Main Hall, East Wing.
Question: What about health insurance?
If your student is a U.S. resident, he/she can stay on a parent’s plan until the age of 26. This is assuming your employer offers a family plan. If you do not have insurance, your student can go year-round to HealthCare.gov or call the Health Insurance Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596 to learn more. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. No one can be turned away from the Marketplace based on pre-existing conditions — it is guaranteed, and most people will get help paying for premiums or get a free or low-cost plan. When you fill out a Marketplace application, you’ll find out if you qualify for coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid is a combined state and federal program that provides coverage to people with limited income. (CMS Product No. 11805, May 2014)
Question: What are some suggested over-the-counter medications that my student should bring for medical self-care?
- Fever or pain relief: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Upset stomach, diarrhea: Tums, Pepto-Bismol, Imodium
- Cold and sinus medication: Dayquil, Nyquil, Sudafed, Mucinex
- Allergy medication, if needed: Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Benadryl
- COPY OF HEALTH INSURANCE CARD
- Prescription medication(s) or inhalers in original containers
- Basic first aid supplies: Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, etc.
- Ace wrap or joint braces, if needed regularly
Tip: Make sure that your student has turned in all required health forms and a copy of the shot record. Failure to do so will interfere with dropping & adding courses and will delay registration for the next semester.
Visit the Student Health Services webpage for more information: www.montevallo.edu/about-um/administration/student-affairs/student-health-services.