Beginning in fall 2013, a new fee for health services will be included in student tuition and fees. The fee is mandatory for all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at the Dallas and Plano campuses, and is separate from any mandatory insurance costs.
For the 2013-14 academic year, the fee is:
$100 per semester for full-time undergraduates;
$50 per semester for part-time undergraduates;
$50 per semester for all graduate students.
The fee allows the University to enhance health care facilities and services for students, including increased access to specialists and mental health counselors.
It is important to note that students also are required to maintain health insurance to cover the costs of specialty care, prescriptions, emergency care, inpatient care, and other off-campus health services. This requirement can be met either by purchasing the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or an alternative insurance plan that has comparable benefits.
Health Center renovation
The University is preparing for a major renovation to modernize the Health Center. During the past 18 months, the Health Center has gathered recommendations on desired improvements from the campus community, including through student surveys and meetings with student leaders and staff.
The Student Senate approved the new Health Services Fee, which will support improvements including additional mental health counselors, online appointment scheduling and expanded peer health programs. The fee compares favorably to health fees charged at other nationally ranked universities.
The renovation also includes plans for improved patient amenities, additional patient procedure rooms and counseling offices, and upgrades to medical equipment and technology. In addition, the plan allows for expanded Health Center hours during evenings and on weekends.
The Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation has given a generous gift of $5 million toward the renovation of the Health Center, which opened in 1960 as a 30-bed infirmary and served a student population of about 8,000. Today the Health Center serves as an outpatient facility for approximately 11,000 students, about 2,400 of whom live on campus. Upon its completion, the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center will serve an estimated 3,650 students living on campus, including those who will live in the new Residential Commons.
All SMU students paying tuition and fees, including the Health Services Fee, are eligible for the following services at no additional cost, and are distinct from those covered by SHIP or a student’s private health insurance. Students who are in programs that do not charge fees, including the general student fee and the new Health Services Fee, can pay the optional Health Center fee at time of service.
Primary care medical services at the Health Center at no additional cost, including
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), including
Health Education programs, including
Students will be charged at the time of service for each of the following services at the Health Center. Medical services not covered are the student’s financial responsibility.
Medical services received outside the Health Center
All health care services received outside of the Health Center are the student’s financial responsibility. Costs may be covered in part by the student’s health insurance plan—either through SHIP (the University-sponsored health insurance plan) or privately-obtained insurance.
Students enrolled in the following exempted programs will not be assessed the fee.
Students who do not pay General Student Fees:
Students who are not on the SMU Dallas or Plano Campuses:
During the past 18 months, the Health Center has gathered recommendations on desired improvements to health care facilities and services from the campus community. The fee will support these improvements, including additional mental health counselors, online appointment scheduling and expanded peer health programs. The fee, which was approved by Student Senate, compares favorably to fees at other nationally ranked universities.
The Health Center offers a broad array of services that are available to students when needed. The University determined that it is important for students' well-being to maintain universal access to health services. These services include not only medical and mental health services, but also educational programs that all students participate in through Wellness classes, new student orientation, and alcohol education. To be equitable, the University decided to charge all students who are currently on campus and eligible to use the services. This approach is far preferable to charging only ill and injured students a visit fee at the time of service, which would deter some students from seeking necessary care. All students benefit from a healthier campus.
The Health Services Fee is mandatory for all enrolled students, but an exemption has been made for programs that do not pay general student fees or for programs that are not located at the Dallas or Plano campuses.
It will depend upon the source and type of support you receive. Some departments and some sources of funding will cover the fee, but many will not. Please consult with your department's student services administrator.
No, the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and the Health Services Fee cover two distinct sets of services.
SHIP is a health insurance plan designed to meet students’ needs beyond the core services provided at the Health Center. SHIP services include specialty care, prescriptions, emergency and inpatient care and other off-campus health services.
The Health Services Fee covers the cost of expanded facilities and services such as counseling and psychiatric services, online appointment scheduling, and other health services beginning in fall 2013.
Yes, the Health Services Fee covers the cost of most services at the Health Center, which you may use regardless of your private insurance coverage. You need your private insurance to cover the cost of other services, such as specialist care, outside of the center.
No, the Health Center does not bill private insurance carriers for primary care visits, CAPS evaluation and short-term therapy, or the health and wellness programs.
The fee will appear on a student’s University bill at the beginning of each semester for which the student is charged tuition.
The Health Services Fee is billed every semester and is not pro-rated. There will not be a refund of these charges.
Yes, students who are not required to pay the Health Services Fee may use services at the Health Center, and will be charged a fee at the time of service.
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