Student Health Center provides quick fixes

The Student Health Center is an on-campus outpatient medical center that provides services to students on the University’s health insurance plan.

The center is staffed by licensed physicians, nurses, and physician’s assistants trained to diagnose a variety of illnesses including colds, flu, food poisoning, mononucleosis and hepatitis. They can also provide stitches for minor wounds, and treat burns, cuts, sprains, insect bites and sunburns.

The center has equipment to perform general diagnostic x-rays. They also have a fully accredited laboratory where they run blood tests and screen for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and Mono.

The staff also conducts follow-ups with students diagnosed with diabetes, asthma, ulcers and epilepsy or other more serious conditions. All medical records are kept confidential. Appointments are available, but are not required.

This year, health insurance at the University of Miami will be approximately $700 for the Fall and Spring semesters, said Jacqueline Ledon, the associate director for Administration for the Student Health Center. There is an additional charge for specialty services such as gynecology, x-rays, non-routine laboratory work and prescriptions.

Health insurance is mandatory for all domestic degree and non-degree seeking students enrolled in six or more credit hours per semester. It is also mandatory for all international students, regardless of their credit enrollment, unless they have alternative health insurance coverage.

Students can either pay the University Student Health Center fee at registration, or provide their own health insurance. All students can seek treatment at the Center, but students who reject the UM insurance must pay a fee for the service.

“The center offers a competitive health insurance rate for students,” Ledon says, “and the students will benefit from the coverage.”

Another part of the center is the Women’s Health Clinic, which is available by appointment. This clinic offers services such as Pap smears, contraceptives and pregnancy testing as well as advice and education.

Off-campus medical care, such as treatment in a hospital emergency room or specialty care physicians, is not covered under the Student Health Center’s insurance.

Domestic students with alternative health insurance coverage may request a fee waiver by completing a Domestic Insurance Cancellation Form, which is available at the Student Health Center website at The deadlines to waive the fee are Sept. 15 for the Fall semester, Feb. 15 for the Spring semester and June 15 for the Summer semester. The fee can not be waived after these dates.

International students with alternative health insurance may request a waiver by arranging for their insurance provider to complete an International Student Insurance Compliance Form, also available on the Student Health Center’s website. The alternate insurance must meet all of the requirements stated on the form in order for the student to be eligible for the waiver. Deadlines for international students to submit their waiver request are the first Monday in October for the Fall semester and the first Monday in March for the Spring semester.

The immunizations required by the University are not covered under the health insurance. All new students are required to provide proof of immunization against measles and rubella. In addition, all international students are required to submit proof of a tuberculosis (TB) test at least 12 months prior to registration.

A pharmacy on the second floor of the Health Center fills prescriptions written by out-of-town physicians, health service providers, and other off-campus physicians. They accept many insurance plans and payments can be made with Visa, MasterCard, cash, check or Cane Card.

There are about 14,000 students enrolled at the University of Miami and about 6,000 of them receive health insurance through the Student Health Center. Since the insurance has only been mandatory since the fall of 1999, insurance is optional for students who were enrolled before then.

The Student Health Center is located on Merrick Drive on the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables. The Health Center is open during Fall and Spring semesters on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. During Winter break, Spring break and Summer sessions, the Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.