Welcome to our summary of Emmons' Frequently Asked Questions.
1. Why do I need to purchase Oxy health insurance?
Historically, many students would arrive each year with inadequate or nonexistent health insurance, and then avoid seeking medical or counseling services when they needed it. The mandatory insurance program has been successful at significantly increasing both the number of students using services and at providing a wider variety of services. Hence, the health plan has removed obstacles to students seeking care – which not only benefits the individual student, but also his or her roommates and the larger campus community by limiting the spread of colds, flu, etc. Also, some students report that they more readily seek out Emmons or health services when they have their own policy separate from their parents, as they value the independence and confidentiality involved in obtaining a full range of health services.
Further, the required insurance ultimately keeps medical insurance costs down for students overall, although with the full implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act in 2014, Oxy will be re-evaluating the Oxy health insurance requirements for the 2014-2015 academic year.
2. What services are currently free at Emmons or have no out-of-pocket costs to Oxy students?
Students may come to Emmons for preventative and wellness care, including immunizations, at no cost. In addition, up to 10 counseling sessions with Emmons’ psychologists or counselors are free to students each year. Visits for sickness or treatment related to illness have a $10 co-pay per visit, well below what most insurance plans or health centers charge.
3. Does the insurance only work at Emmons Student Wellness Center?
Students can go straight to any medical provider of their choice, so it is not necessary for a student to visit Emmons Center only or to visit it first before going to a doctor or clinic of their choice. However, students are encouraged to use Emmons, as it is convenient, and staff can make solid recommendations and referrals for specialists or other community health resources. Also, as mentioned above, some services are no cost to students at Emmons.
4. Do I need to have a physical examination before I begin school at Oxy?
No. However, immunizations are required, and completion of the immunization record is a requirement for class registration. We recommend you obtain a physical examination before coming to Oxy, but is only required prior to participation in NCAA and club sports. For study abroad, you will need to have a completed physical, but you can obtain that once you sign up for the study abroad program of your choice.
5. What happens if I don't meet the medical requirements on time?
Your registration process will be delayed and once you are on campus, you will need to come to the Emmons Student Wellness Center and make an appointment to resolve any delinquencies. A $100.00 late fee will be charged to your student account in early September and every month thereafter until the delinquencies are satisfied.
6. We moved a lot during my childhood and I can't access my complete immunization records. What should I do?
If you attended school in the United States, your last school may have a record of your required immunizations. If you are unable to provide documentation of your immunizations, you will need to have lab tests that will indicate you were inoculated and/or additional vaccinations to get you current on your immunizations.
7. Do I need an appointment to be seen at the Emmons Student Wellness Center?
Yes. Appointments are required for all services. However, Emmons provides walk-in visits three times daily for quick medical visits (9-10AM, 12:00-1:00, and 3:30-4:30PM), and once daily for mental health quick visits 9-10AM. To guarantee your visit, call ahead (323-259-2657).
8. What is a mantoux (PPD) skin test?
It is a test for tuberculosis (TB). The PPD is a purified antigen from the TB bacteria. It is injected under the skin and causes a localized skin reaction that looks like a raised rash if the individual has had previous exposure to TB.
9. What is Counseling?
Counseling (also referred to as psychotherapy) is the process of exploring thoughts, feelings, values and ideas about current and/or past situations and experiences, often helpful to reducing anxiety, stress or addressing a wide range of personal issues. Counseling can also help you with becoming more aware of your feelings and thoughts, improving self-understanding, positive behavioral changes, increased self-esteem, work towards a more accepting attitude and increased coping, and communication skills. There are varying approaches and styles depending on the training and personality of the individual therapist. Counseling is not about giving advice or the counselor "solving" a person's problem; rather, it’s about helping a person to reach their own new ideas about what is going to be helpful for them.
10. What can I expect from Counseling?
You may or may not feel immediate relief from your problems when you start counseling, although a great many people feel significantly better after talking with the therapist even one time. Counseling at Emmons is highly confidential. Our therapists understand that it can take time for a deeper understanding and trust to develop between the therapist and a student or client. There are times when a student’s stress level may increase temporarily because he/she is actively working to resolve stressful life issues and deep feelings. As an individual student gains a better understanding of him/herself, the counselor and student work together on exploring life changes or ways to improve life. For many people, a good deal of improvement can occur in a relatively short amount of time. For others, the limited number of free individual sessions available (10 per school year) at Emmons may not be adequate. Every person is different and Emmons counselors will help students explore options whenever going beyond 10 counseling sessions would be beneficial to the student.
11. Who can find out about the care and treatment I'm receiving at the Emmons Student Wellness Center?
Medical and counseling information may not be released without your written consent. If someone calls Emmons with specific questions about your health or wellness, the staff will not disclose any protected information without your written consent. Aside from a life threatening emergency or a significant crisis, where Emmons may disclose information without consent, it’s your choice to share your health information with others.
12. I'm on several prescription medications. Can I obtain these medications at the Health Center?
It depends. Emmons is equipped to care for most minor, one-time or infrequent physical or emotional problems. We stock common over-the-counter cold and pain medications, and a variety of prescription medications used to treat minor illnesses or injuries. If you have specific medication needs, please consult with your private physician on the best way to obtain your prescriptions while away at school.
13. Will Emmons Student Wellness Center give me a note to excuse any classes I miss when sick?
No. Emmons Student Wellness Center does not provide medical notes to excuse students for missed classes due to illness. The Student Wellness Center strongly encourages students to maintain contact with their professors throughout the semester and communicate with them directly when ill or at the onset of illness. As stated in the previous section, it is up to the discretion of the professor to grant an excuse for an absence for illness.
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