New fee begins this semester at Student Health Services

Written by: Katelyn Freil

Some students may have gotten a surprise this semester when they saw
the new $15 nominal visit fee in Student Health Services.

The new fee will offset rising health care costs, according to The
University of Akron’s “About fees” website.

According to Diane Fashinpaur, the director of Student Health
Services, this fee was not something they just started talking about
this year.

“There has been some talk over the years, periodically, of instituting
a fee,” she said. “The costs have been rising, so this year it’s
become more of an issue.”

Fashinpaur defends the fee by comparing it to those set up by other

“What we’ve instituted here is, really, perhaps more fair, because
it’s only when a student comes for a visit that the student has to pay
the fee — versus a large itemized fee,” Fashinpaur said.

According to the university website, the general service fee for
undergraduate students also goes to support Student Health Services.
This fee also covers intercollegiate athletics, student organizations,
intramurals and other activities.

Fashinpaur said that even students who don’t visit Student Health
Services can still see benefits. In cases of an epidemic, or in even
more extreme cases like bioterrorism, Student Health Services can
provide aid to affected students.

While every student has to pay the general fee, students with
insurance may be able to get their $15 back. Fashinpaur said that the
office can provide a student with a receipt or certain codes to give
to their insurance company.

“They can submit it to their insurance company. We can’t promise that
their insurance company would honor that,” she said. “Some students
have had luck with that.”

According to Fashinpaur, most students have not mentioned the new fee
while at Student Health Services.

“Some students have mentioned some surprise to the fee, particularly
students who have been long-time users of the service,” she said. “Other students haven’t blinked an eye.”

Although many students haven’t brought up the fee change, that doesn’t
mean that they aren’t upset with it.

Child development major Isabel Moreta said she visited Student Health
Services a few times last semester and was shocked when she saw the
fee this semester.

“It isn’t fair. It’s inconvenient for students who get sick a lot
dealing with stress and other activities,” Moreta said. “You might as
well go home.”

Fashinpaur said that a $15 fee per visit is fair compared to similar
fees that people with insurance would pay when they go to a doctor
back home.

“The visit fee is in range with what many people may pay when they go
to the doctor anyway,” Fashinpaur said. “So maybe that’s why probably
the majority of the patients who have come through since we instituted
the fee have really not considered it a problem.”

Student Health Services is located in Suite 260 in the Student
Recreation and Wellness Center. It is open Monday through Friday from
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with the last appointment time at 4:15 p.m.