FAQ

National policy changes effect on health insurance

Several students are raising questions about how the change at the national leadership and discussion of changes to the Affordable Care Act or (Obamacare) impact their health coverage. Based on conversation with our insurance carrier there are some point of clarification.

No changes in the Student Illness and Injury Policy offered through the college can be made until the end of this plan year, August 14, 2017.

Each year a team of college representatives meet with Gallagher Insurance to review and make changes in the policy. We anticipate these meeting will begin in February or March.

A full repeal of the Affordable Care Act will require a vote of 60 senators. It is difficult to know at this time what approach will be taken by the new administration and congress. There are varying messages in the news in the past few days. There may be a number of legislative actions or bills that would focus on changing some aspects without a full repeal. Gallagher will continue to monitor these messages and any legislative action advocate for inclusive coverage for college students.

Many benefits are determined at the state level which means Massachusetts can continue mandates even if there are changes at the federal level. Massachusetts mandates are often ahead of or beyond the scope of federal mandates; ie universal health care requirements, government insurance exchange, mandate for mental health parity and services for transgender and Gender Non-Conforming individuals.

The ACA mandated that a number of preventative services were made available without cost sharing by the patient. These included STI screening, contraceptive services, prescriptions and devices, health screening for certain age groups and populations. These will not be changed during a plan year but these are the kinds of things that could change based on specific legislative initiatives.

Learn more about the specifics of your health insurance plan, how it compares with the student health insurance plan and the trends that arise within the state where you plan is written. Become involved in letting your legislators know those elements of the ACA that have been beneficial to you and your family so they can represent your concerns.

General

What are your hours?

During the academic year: Monday through Friday 8am-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm

We are closed during winter and spring break and during the summer. See our hours of operation for more details.

 

Who can use the health center?

All current MHC students. Services are not available to students who are on leave from the college or who have graduated.

What if I don't have the college insurance?

Services are available to all current MHC students. There is no charge to see the nursing or clinician staff. There are charges for lab work, nutritional counseling and physical therapy services. If you do not have the student health insurance plan or the supplemental pre-paid health center option, these charges will be placed on your student bill. The entry will state Health Center charge and a dollar amount. Cost of medications are handled through your insurance plan. We do not bill any insurance plans. Please discuss details with the health center staff.

How do I make an appointment?

Scheduled: For an appointment that is NOT urgent visit, call 413-538-2121 to schedule with a clinician or with our nursing staff.  Some appointment types can be made online using MyHealthConnection.

Urgent care: Call 413-538-2242 or send an email through MyHealthConnection to speak with our nursing staff so we can give the best advice or a same day appointment. You should contact us early during today to provide the widest range of services. Our nursing staff will meet with you and triage you into appropriate care. 

What if the health center is closed?

We have a 24/7 on-call clinician. 

For urgent consultation, Call 413-538-2242 and press zero. You will be connected to our answering service, share your concern and they will contact our on call clinician. The process will take 10-15 minutes.

What if I need the Emergency Room?

If you are having any life threatening emergency such as difficulty breathing, chest or cardiac pain, an allergic reaction etc you should call campus police (413-538- 2304). They will dispatch an officer and ambulance to your location and you will be transported by ambulance to the nearest Emergency Room.
 
If you are ill, injured or in pain that is not life threatening, contact the Health Center (413-538- 2242). During Operating Hours you will speak with our triage nurse. If it is After Hours call (413-538- 2242) press zero and ask to have the on-call clinician contact you. Based on the severity of the situation they will discuss the option of contacting campus police for support, contacting the ambulance, transportation to ER by cab or strategies to allow you to wait to be seen when the Health Center re-opens.
If the Health Center is closed and you wish to seek medical attention for a non- life-threatening illness or injury, there are several urgent care facilities within a few miles of campus (in order of distance from Mount Holyoke):

MedExpress Urgent Care (2.7 miles)

Labs drawn on site, read off-site. X-ray available.

AEIOU Outpatient and Urgent Care (10.1 miles)

Lab and x-ray available

Baystate Urgent Care (10.6 miles)

Lab and x-ray available

On-Call Urgent Care (11.5 miles)

Lab and x-ray available

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Urgent Care (11.7 miles)

Lab and x-ray available

How much would ER services cost me?

Cost of the Emergency Room will be based on your insurance plan. Please review the details of cost and notification requirements of your insurance plan. If you have insurance sponsored by the college there will be a minimum of $250 for the ER co-pay and potentially cost of the ambulance and physician fees. See "What bills will I receive?" for more details.

What bills will I receive?

Hospital: most insurance companies pay the hospital cost minus the ER co-pay. For the student health insurance plan that is $250 for each visit. All of the area hospitals are in network providers.
 
Physician Bills: Physician groups who provide the care in the ER, interpret the imaging studies or any specialist that is consulted will bill separately from the hospital. If the providers are in network, their charges should be fully covered by the insurance. If these providers are out of network, they may bill you for the difference between their charge and the payment by the insurance. The ER physicians at Cooley Dickinson, Holyoke Medical Center and Baystate Medical Center are in network for the Student Health Insurance Plan.
 
Ambulance: The insurance company will reimburse the ambulance but the ambulance may bill you for the difference between their charge and the payment they receive. This is usually less than $200.

What do I need to do once I get the bills?

It is important that you provide complete address (including campus post office box #) and insurance information to the hospital and the physician billing group from which you received care. Without this information they will not be able to send the charges to your insurance company and will hold you responsible for the full cost.
 
Ask for the medical billing department
 
Holyoke Medical Center: 413-534- 2500
 
Paper City Physicians: 1-800- 355-2470 Option #4 (these are the physicians at Holyoke Medical Center ER)
 
Cooley Dickinson Hospital: 413-584- 2000
 
Baystate Medical Center: 413-794- 0000
 
Respond quickly to all email or postal mail correspondence from the insurance company or medical billing companies. There may be forms that need to be completed and returned to the insurance company before they will process the claims and payments.
 
Call the Health Center 413-538- 2089 for assistance if you have bills or letters that you do not understand. We will review the documents with you and provide any assistance in contacting the providers or insurance.
 
DO NOT IGNORE THE BILLS. After a period of no response or non-payment these bills may be sent to collection agencies. This will make it more difficult to sort out the details or for us to be able to assist you.

Prescription

What information is needed to get an Rx filled?

Prescriptions are filled by Louis & Clark Pharmacy, you will need to call the pharmacy at (413) 736-5649 with your insurance information (Name, ID #, Group #, RX Bin #)
    *** The prescription will NOT be processed until your insurance is received***

If a copay is charged you will need:
(1) Sufficient funds on card to cover copayment cost on your MHC Onecard
(2) To call the pharmacy to charge copayment cost prior to pickup with a Debit/Credit Card

How can I pick up and pay for my prescription?

The Health Services has a close working relationship with Louis and Clark Pharmacy to deliver prescriptions to the Health Center Monday through Saturday. You may pick-up your prescription during the Health Center's regular hours of operation. The cost of the medication is determined by your health insurance plan. Please consult your plan for details on co-pays and coverage.

The prescriptions are delivered Monday to Friday about 3:30pm and Saturday 1:30pm, you will not be notified when the prescription has arrived. If not picked up within 7 days they will be returned to the pharmacy, you will receive an email before the prescription is sent back.

Payment methods:

One Card: The Health Center is only able to accept the One Card for payment of all prescriptions  and co-pays. Sufficient funds must be available on your One Card to cover the cost of the prescription or co-pay.

Credit card: To arrange with Louis and Clark Pharmacy to have your medications charged to your personal credit card, call 413-736-5649 to speak with the Pharmacy staff directly.

Health center staff do not accept or maintain credit card information. For more details, see our pharmacy services

 

How do I get prescriptions transferred or filled?

If you wish to transfer an existing prescription from your home pharmacy to Louis and Clark Pharmacy:

Have your provider from home call or fax the prescription to

Louis and Clark Pharmacy: 300 Birnie Ave, Springfield MA

Phone: 413-736-5649; Fax: 413-736-5099

You can bring a paper copy to us and we will fax or deliver to the pharmacy

If you are seen by a provider in this area and have a prescription to be filled, bring the paper copy to us and we will either fax or deliver the prescription to Louis and Clark along with your insurance information.

Once the prescription has been filled by Louis and Clark, you can order refills as needed by contacting 413-736-5649 directly. Each time you request a refill, be sure they are aware that you want the medication delivered to the Health Center.

Medications are usually delivered the next day but those sent on Friday may not be delivered until Monday afternoon. If you have questions, please contact our staff.

Sexual Health

Can I get contraception at the Health Center?

Yes. 

Contraception: Our clinicians counsel and provide prescriptions for oral contraceptives, Nuvaring and patch. We provide counseling and refer to area providers for IUD placement, Nexplanon, and tubal litigation. The cost of oral contraceptives is covered by the student’s specific insurance plans. We will work closely with the student to find the oral contraceptive that works for them and if possible has low or zero co-pay per month. The cost of IUD, Nuvaring, and Nexplanon also varies by insurance plan. Under the student health insurance plan these are covered with zero co-pay. The visit to an in network specialist is covered without a co-pay.

Emergency contraception: We provide counseling and prescription for EC both for same day use and in advance use. We do have this medication on hand and can administer. While this is an over the counter medication, when prescribed there is zero co-pay with most health insurance plans. Arrangements can be made to pay the health center directly for this.  

For students who have waived these options the lab charges will be placed on the student bill. Arrangements can be made to pay the health center directly for these lab charges.

What about pregnancy tests?

This testing can be done by our lab staff after consultation by our clinician staff. The charge is $20 and is covered by the student health insurance plan and the supplemental or prepaid health center option. 

For students who have waived these options the lab charges will be placed on the student bill. Arrangements can be made to pay the health center directly for these lab charges.

Can I get tested for STDs or STIs?

Yes. Routine screening includes chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV. This testing usually does not involve a “pelvic exam”. Testing for Herpes, Hepatitis C are done based on individual symptoms and risks. 

All tests/studies done at the health center are covered by the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan or Prepaid Health Center Option. If these have been waived, the student is responsible for the cost and these will be placed on the Student Bill monthly. 

Can I get a GYN exam?

Yes. The type of testing and exam will vary but usually involves STI screening for all students who have been/are currently sexually active. Pap smear screening is recommended for those over 21 years of age. There is no charge to visit the health center. All lab work is covered by the student health insurance plan and the supplemental or prepaid health center option. For students who have waived these options, the charges will be placed on the student bill. Arrangement can be made to pay the health center directly for these lab charges.

What if I've been sexually assaulted?

The staff of the Health Center provides a range of services related to sexual assault. All services are confidential. If there are charges related to lab testing or medications, arrangements will be made to avoid any charges to the student bill. For more information, see our Sexual Assault Services, contact the Dean of Students, or Campus Police at (413) 538-2304.

Other Services and Questions

Can I receive general care at the health center?

Yes, health center nursing and clinician staff provide services for a full range of primary care services, both urgent, routine, follow up and preventive. We refer to specialist for evaluation and treatment for situations and conditions that are outside the primary care scope of practice, i.e., ADD and ADHD evaluation and management, orthopedics, neurology, cardiology, x-ray etc.

How do I get a lab test done?

Some tests are performed on site, i.e., throat and urine cultures, STI testing, pregnancy tests, etc. Blood tests and cultures are sent to a reference lab with results in 24 hours. All labs require clinician order. If you have lab work that is ordered by a provider from home, make an appointment with a Health Center clinician to discuss the specifics of these tests. All lab work drawn and performed at the Health Center must be ordered by a Health Center clinician.  Lab results will be faxed to other providers if  a signed release of information is in place.

What about nutrition and physical therapy?

These services are provided at the Health Center. An appointment with one of the Health Center clinicians is required to obtain a referral for these services. The charges for each visit varies with length of the visit and type of services provided. These charges are covered by the student health insurance plan and the supplemental or prepaid health center option. Students who have waived these plan may be referred and can use these services. The charges will appear on the student bill.

Find out more about nutrtitional services here and physical therapy here

Can I get a flu shot at the health center?

Yes, the health center staff administers flu shots. The cost of the flu shot is covered by the student health insurance plan. Students not covered by this plan will be billed $25, to the student bill. Log on to MyHealthConnection to print out a copy of your bill to present to their insurance for reimbursement.

Can I bring a friend to an appointment?

You are welcome to bring a family member or a friend to an appointment with you. There may be times when we ask that this family or friend step out during a portion of the visit. We will always confirm that you are comfortable with the presence of this individual during all aspects of the visit. 

How will I be charged for services?

All tests/studies done at the health center are covered by the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan or Prepaid Health Center Option. If these have been waived, the student is responsible for the cost and these will be placed on the Student Bill monthly. If you anticipate requiring frequent or repeated lab work.  Carefully, consider the Pre-paid Health Center Insurance Option. In this case, charges for lab testing, infirmary, physical therapy, nutritional counseling, medication/allergy injections and medical supplies billed to the student. Explanation of charges are mailed to the student's MHC address. Charges are not submitted to outside insurance carriers. Co-pays are not charged or collected.

Why should I choose student health insurance?

The student health insurance is a comprehensive insurance plan that meets all the requirements of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Affordable Care Act. It has an annual premium, provides twelve months of coverage and has a regional and national network of providers. The plan design includes annual deductibles and co-pays. It is designed to wrap around and work integrally with the Health center. During the academic year, referrals from the Health Center staff are required for visits to specialists and for laboratory and other testing. All Health Center based services for which there are charges are covered by the student health insurance plan. Click here to see more details about the student health insurance plan. 

The supplemental or prepaid health center option is specifically designed to cover the cost of the services at the health center for which there are charges; physical therapy, nutritional counseling, medical or allergy injections and lab testing. This can be purchased for $110 per semester or $220 per academic year and can be purchased at any time during the academic year. 

Coverage for substance use

Alcohol and Drug Awareness (ADAP) is a counseling and information program for students who are concerned about their drinking or use of other drugs, a friend's use/abuse, or about drug or alcohol use in their family. All services are confidential, free and available to all Mount Holyoke students. 
 
Appointments can be made by calling 413-538-2616 or by logging on to MyHealthConnection.  Appointments are scheduled Monday-Friday between 9am-5pm with some evening availability. Contact information taken when you call for an appointment will only be used to call to confirm and appointment, or to change it if necessary. You can read more about our confidentiality policy hereADAP services are accessed through our office located in Stafford Hall.

 ADAP provides the following services

  •  Consultation
  •  Outreach
  •  Evaluation and assessment
  •  Individual alcohol/ drug counseling
  •  Alcohol/other drug awareness groups
  •  Recovery support groups - For students in recovery to provide support and meet other students in recovery.
  •  Nicotine Dependence Assessment and Referral
  •  Adult Children of Alcoholics/Addicts group - For students whose parent, other family members or close friend is an alcoholic or drug addict.

Travel

What if I'm going abroad?

We strongly encourage all students who are travelling abroad to schedule a travel visit with our clinician staff. Please see Traveler's Health Info for more details. You will be asked to complete a travel visit questionnaire prior to the visit so that we can provide you with specific recommendations regarding vaccines, prescriptions and order any testing required by the country to which you are travelling. There is no cost for the appointment but vaccines and testing will be covered based on your insurance.

Can I get immunizations?

There are some immunizations required for some countries that we are not able to provide; specifically yellow fever and Japanese Encephalitis. We are able to administer or prescribe other immunizations and recommended medications.

Should I make an appointment, or just walk in?

All travel visits require an appointment with one of our clinicians. We are not able to do this service on a walk-in basis. Please call 413-538-2121 to schedule an appointment.