UHS continues to prioritize student heath & wellness. As of September 6, 2019, we have updated our insurance billing policy to provide sensitive laboratory testing, including testing for sexually transmitted infections, at no additional charge to students who pay the health service fee.
Sensitive laboratory testing includes:
- Sexually transmitted infections (STI) that are most commonly tested for (including associated with sexual assault):
- Mycoplasma genitalium
- Pregnancy testing
- Hormonal testing for trans care
U-M students received the following email announcing this change on the afternoon of September 6, 2019.
We want you to know that your personal health and well-being are our highest priorities.
We’ve heard your concerns about confidentiality and cost associated with testing for sexually transmitted infections and the worry that these concerns may result in barriers for some students seeking important preventive health-care services at UHS.
After careful consideration we are modifying the policy that was put into effect in July to bill students’ health care insurance plans for all diagnostic testing services, including STI testing.
Effective today, UHS will cover, from the student health service fee, the cost of testing for sexually transmitted infections. Under the policy we will continue to bill insurance plans for other necessary testing and services.
You have helped us understand just how important it is to maintain confidentiality in this process all the way through how those tests are paid for. We would never want the payment process for these important medical tests to stand in the way of any student accessing important medical services or testing.
We want every student to have access to all forms of health care they may need – from flu shots and mental health counseling to eye exams and contraception services or STI testing – at a cost that is reasonable.
The good news is that since the adoption of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, nearly all students who come to study on the Ann Arbor campus have health care insurance. In addition, the on-campus location of UHS makes health care accessible by a short walk or bus ride for most students.
Paying for health care is an ongoing issue that our society continues to explore and at UHS we work hard to leverage all available sources of funding – including health care insurance plans – in order to keep the student health service fee as low as possible. There was no increase in that fee this year.
It’s also important to know that UHS has long had in place programs to help students pay for their health care and to keep billing confidential. Addressing a student’s health needs has always been our No. 1 priority. Paying for that care takes many forms – including providing care at no cost for students who may not have access to appropriate resources.
We want to personally thank the many students who have helped us understand just how important this topic is. We’ve heard you and we are changing our billing process because of the concerns you have raised directly with us, the UHS staff and other campus leaders.
E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life
Dr. Robert Ernst
Associate Vice President for Student Life
University Health Service Executive Director