Penn State: New medical fund to help students in need
Penn State students who are not medically insured – or underinsured – may soon find relief with a new fund, which was developed in conjunction with University Health Services and the University Park Undergraduate Association.
The UHS / UPUA Wellness Fund, announced Wednesday, will cover health care services provided by UHS for students who have insufficient insurance, high copayments or deductibles, or who have financial need. According to the university, coverage includes all services billable to UHS except pharmacy fees, ambulance fees, lab work sent to Quest Diagnostics, no-show fees, and referrals. to external health care providers.
“This is a positive and tangible step forward on behalf of the UPUA and the university administration to create change for the better,” said UPUA Vice President Najee Rodriguez, in a written statement, adding that the fund could potentially be expanded in the future to cover other costs. “Students will no longer have to avoid their health because of worries about rent, food or tuition.”
Based on fall 2020 and spring 2021 data, some 782 University Park students are considered uninsured because they have an out-of-state Medicaid plan; 1,333 were refused treatment due to expiration of insurance; and 475 had no active coverage. A total of 11,883 students did not provide enough information about health insurance, so it was assumed that they did not have enough insurance.
Students who believe they are eligible for the wellness fund can make an appointment with a UHS case manager via myUHS or by calling 814-863-0774.
“Our staff are delighted to have this option to serve students who otherwise might not receive the care they need,” said Natahsha Baumgartner, Student Insurance Advocate for UHS.
For more information on health insurance and to help you navigate insurance options, the university suggested visiting the Student Insurance Lawyer Webpage. To learn more about other support resources, visit Basic needs and assistance page.