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Student Health Services (SHS) is an on-campus clinic that provides direct, basic medical care to all registered undergraduate students. 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.
No fees are collected. Tuition and fees cover 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, this visit may also be covered by UM or the student’s health insurance may be utilized and a co-pay may be required. Expenses incurred beyond that provided by the university are the responsibility of the student.
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.
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.
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)
Tip: Make sure that your student has completed the required “Incoming Student Medical Form” with a copy of the shot record attached. 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.