Student Health Services raises visit prices, lowers lab costs


Khánh Nguyễn

The lobby of Ahlberg Hall leading into Student Health Services.

At the beginning of the school year, Student Health Services doubled their office visit fee from $15 to $30.

Director of Student Health Services Camille Childers said they hadn’t raised their office visit fee for about five years, and that with rising healthcare costs, the department had to do it.

“Sustaining a medical facility, we’re paying more for our medications, we’re paying more to support our program — things just cost more,” Childers said. “The cost of coffee has gone up.”

While SHS doubled their fees, Childers said their rates are still competitive with regular doctor’s office prices.

“Typically, an office visit with a provider for like an illness, say strep throat, runs anywhere from $60 to over $100,” Childers said. “So even at $30, that is still a very reasonable cost. Students are still saving money.”

Childers also said SHS tried to offset the rise in cost by lowering lab fees and switching to a new lab service provider called Quest. The new provider made it possible for SHS to lower some of their lab costs.

“For example, if you come in for an immunization, we don’t charge much more than what we’re paying to purchase [the] immunization,” Childers said. 

Childers cited the cost of TB testing going down from $20 to $11 as an example. 

The Student Health Services Financial policy states that a student will never be turned away due to the inability to pay. Health insurance is also not required.

If a student cannot afford to pay at the end of their visit, they will be charged on their student accounts and can pay later.

Childers said Student Health Services also provides financial help with bills, but that it’s mostly for visits over $200.

SHS will also still provide free HIV and STD testing throughout the school year.

Student Health Services is funded through student fees, which pay for mostly staff salaries. Money that comes from visits goes towards the operations of the department.