General Insurance FAQ's
Glossary of insurance terms
For International Students
1) What should I bring to the University Health Center (UHC) for my visit?
2) What methods of payment are accepted at the UHC?
3) Why should students have health insurance?
4) What if I do not have insurance?
5) Can I pay for my visit even if I have insurance?
6) How much will my visit cost?
7) If you bill my insurance, will I have to pay anything for care I receive at UHC?
8) I am covered by private health insurance. Will the University Health Center (UHC) accept my insurance?
9) What is the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)?
10) Are UHC providers considered “preferred providers” with any insurance plans?
11) If the UHC is not a participating or “preferred provider” (i.e. in-network) with my plan, can I still use my insurance?
12) I belong to an HMO. Can I use the Health Center?
13) What happens if I need to see a specialist?
14) Will you bill my health insurance for Physical Therapy visits?
15) How much does STD/STI (sexually transmitted disease or infection) testing cost?
16) What information may be sent home concerning my UHC visit?
17) What if my insurance information changes?
18) Can I use my prescription plan at the UHC?
19) What is the difference between HMO, POS, and PPO insurance plans?
1. Insurance card (We see all students with or without insurance.)
2. Photo ID
3. Payment method. Co-payment/visit fee will be collected at the time of visit or billed to your Bursar Account.
The UHC accepts cash, credit cards and Terrapin Express. You can also have charges placed on your Bursar Account.
3) Why should students have health insurance?
Health care expenses such as those associated with unexpected illness, accidents, or mental health care can destabilize a student’s financial situation and derail his/her progress toward a degree. These potential barriers to attendance and degree completion are reduced when students have health insurance. Conversely, students without health insurance who do not have access to needed specialty care or hospitalization may attempt to continue their academic pursuits but fail to reach their full potential due to their untreated illness.
We see all students, with or without insurance. The UHC accepts cash, credit cards and Terrapin Express. You can also have charges placed on your Bursar Account. If you do not have health insurance or do not wish to use your insurance, you may be eligible for a visit fee discount. If you do not have insurance and are facing financial hardship, we will help you complete a hardship form and you may be eligible for an additional visit fee discount.
If you prefer not to use your insurance for any service, we will honor your request at the time of your visit. Charges can be placed on your Bursar account or paid by cash, credit card, or Terrapin Express.
A typical UHC visit without any procedures, lab, or x-ray services will range from $50 -$125 with exceptions for those who are uninsured, eligible for hardship, or do not wish to use their insurance. Mental Health and Nutrition visits are $15 for students.
You are responsible for any visit co-pays and non-covered charges. Charges can be placed on your Bursar account or paid by cash, credit card, or Terrapin Express.
The UHC is able to bill many private insurance plans for office visits and covered medical services provided in our facility. We cannot bill Medicare, Medicaid, Kaiser Permanente, and TRICARE Prime. If you are a student and belong to an HMO, you should contact your plan in advance and ask if they will cover your care at the UHC while you are away at school. You are responsible for any non-covered charges.
SHIP is an insurance policy specially designed to cover University of Maryland, College Park students at a reasonable cost. Students can also enroll their spouse and/or dependents (under age 26) for an additional charge. Visit www.firststudent.com for cost and coverage details.
The UHC providers are contracted with the PPO and EPO insurance products of Aetna, United Healthcare, and Carefirst/Blue Cross-Blue Shield as well as TRICARE Standard. UHC is also in-plan with Cigna.
Yes, however, we cannot bill government insurance programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE Prime.
Any student can use the Health Center. If you belong to an HMO, you should contact your plan in advance and ask if they will cover your care at UHC while you are away at school. If your HMO does not cover costs, you may be eligible for a cash payment discount.
If you are referred for treatment or services outside of the UHC, we will identify specialists or facilities within your insurance network whenever possible. Your insurance plan may cover all, part, or none of the costs associated with such services. You will be responsible for all costs incurred.
The UHC will not bill health insurance companies for physical therapy services, except students enrolled in the SHIP policy. Patients can request a Statement for services provided to submit to their insurance company for reimbursement. The UHC can provide a list of local physical therapy facilities.
The laboratory cost for a common STD test panel is $49. All other STD/STI test costs are dependent on the test performed and whether a provider visit is required. Charges are subject to change without notice.
If the services are billed to your insurance, a specific explanation of benefits (EOB) will be sent to the policy holder by the insurance plan. The EOB may contain the date of visit and list the services provided.
It is your responsibility to let us know immediately if your insurance coverage changes. If you do not notify us of any changes, you will be responsible for all charges. Charges will be sent to your Bursar account.
The UHC Pharmacy participates with many pharmacy insurance plans. The Pharmacy staff can advise you if your plan is accepted.
The Health Center can only bill U.S. health insurance companies. International students can request a Statement for services provided to submit to their home country coverage plan for reimbursement.
The US health care system is not easy to understand.
- The US does not have a national health care plan
- People are responsible for the cost of their own care
- Health care can be very expensive in the US
- You may not be able to get all the health care services you need without health insurance
- Health insurance helps to pay for part or all of your medical costs
- The Health Center can only bill U.S. health insurance companies. International students can request a Statement for services provided, for them to submit to their home country coverage plan for reimbursement.
Accreditation: An evaluation process in which a health care organization undergoes examination of its operating procedures to determine whether the procedures meet a specified level of quality.
Authorization: When the health insurance company approves and agrees to pay for the medical services rendered.
Copayment: A pre-payment determined by your insurance company, payable by the individual at the time of a medical visit.
Deductible: A fixed amount of money you have to pay before most, if not all, of the policy's benefits can be enjoyed.
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization): A group of doctors and other medical professionals offer care for a flat monthly rate with no deductibles. ONLY visits to professionals within the HMO network are covered by this policy. All visits, prescriptions, and other care must be cleared by the HMO in order to be covered.
POS (Point-of-Service): A point-of-service (POS) plan is a combination of a health maintenance organization (HMO) and a preferred provider organization (PPO). Typically, POS plans have a network that functions like a HMO – you pick a primary care doctor, who manages and coordinates your care within the network. POS plans also allow you to use a provider who is not in the network. However, if you choose to go out-of-network for your care, you will pay more.
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization): A medical insurance plan in which members receive more coverage if they choose health care providers approved by or affiliated with the plan.
TRICARE: A regionally managed health care program for active-duty and retired members of the uniformed services, their families and survivors.
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