DeWeese changing insurance

Ryan Haidet

The DeWeese Health Center recently changed its insurance billing policy and now accepts all major insurance carriers.

Health center officials changed policy after several parents and students asked them to accept their health insurance. The new policy has been in effect since June 30.

“It really does benefit patients because costs they would have to pay out of pocket can now be covered,” said Nicholas Sukalac, coordinator of health services information.

Previously, the health center only accepted student health insurance provided by The Chickering Group, Sukalac said.

Over 80 percent of college students have some form of health insurance, he said. By changing this policy, he knows that more students will be able to receive health care without leaving the campus.

“In addition, all medical co-pays are covered as a part of tuition fees,” Sukalac said.

Although this change has been successful with students who have utilized the health center, many students are unaware of this change.

Siobhan McCauley, senior political science major, never used the health center before because she doesn’t know where it is located. However, she said she would use the health center now because of the insurance billing changes.

“I didn’t know about the changes being made,” McCauley said. “I think it is a major convenience knowing I can go on campus for health care because where I usually go is in Canton.”

Even with the changes, there are students who still don’t think they will go to the health center since they no longer live on campus.

“I went my freshman year, but I haven’t been there this year,” junior integrated sciences major Ali Woods said. “I don’t think that I would use it because I don’t get sick very often. I no longer live on campus though, so that changes it too.”

Mark Bonchu, senior Pan-African studies major, doesn’t think he’ll use the health center either.

“I have never been to the health center because I’m not the type of person to go to a doctor,” Bonchu said.

He said if he still lived on campus and needed to see a doctor, he would use the health center because of the insurance changes.

Although insurance billing for the health center is different, the pharmacy’s policy remains the same, Sukalac said.

“Currently, prescriptions are only covered through student health insurance,” Sukalac said. “The health center is currently working to put a new policy on prescription insurance billing as well.”

Sukalac said he believes the health center’s pharmacy is still better than going to another pharmacy.

“Our price for prescription medication is often cheaper than other pharmacies,” Sukalac said.

With all these changes taking place and some underway, Sukalac stressed one final thing.

“All Kent State students are eligible to use the health center,” Sukalac said. “This is one thing we have attempted to make clear.”

Students without insurance can still utilize the health center, but will be responsible for whatever fees their visit incurs, Sukalac said.

Sukalac is happy with the success the new policy has had.

“In August, over 58 percent of patients used some type of insurance to pay for their services,” Sukalac said. “This really shows that students are accepting the changes.”

The main thing that will be different for students utilizing the health center is the computer self-check in.

Insurance information will be collected by the health center when students use the computer to check in, he said. Students can register their information before visiting the health center by entering their information on the Web site at Insurance cards will also be scanned by an employee of the health center.

“All patients are asked to bring their insurance card every time they utilize the health center,” Sukalac said.

Contact health reporter Ryan Haidet at [email protected].