After Hours Emergencies

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Photo: Courtesy of Salvatore Vuono

It’s 6pm on a Tuesday night and you slip on ice walking home from the library. There is a possibility that when you fell, you may have broken something, but health services is closed….what do you do? Luckily for students, UNH Health Services has an agreement with Wentworth Douglass Hospital that many people do not know about. This plan is part of the student health fee and is accessible for UNH students. The agreement permits students to receive care at the Wentworth Douglass Hospital if health services is closed.

The costs are covered for most minor injuries but as Health Services states, “unfortunately, one cannot know prior to evaluation how serious the problem is and there is a possibility the visit may not be covered under the agreement,” therefore indicating that the visit may still be expensive. If the condition is minor, the services at the hospital will be covered with a small co-pay fee. This could include minor to moderate injuries and illnesses such as: sore throat, earache, burns, sprains, and strains. However, one important factor for students to be aware is that the ambulance ride is not covered. Depending on the location of the hospital and services needed, ambulance fees can get pretty pricey. Although no general information was found on New Hampshire (only Medicare ambulance fees) an example of costs could range from the lower $400s up into the $1,000s. Based on a town in Virginia, fees range from $425-$525 plus an additional mileage rate. However, in the State of Arizona, fees could range from $448.40 all the way up to $1291.87!

In the case of this agreement, students would be responsible for the entire bill…which based on emergency room visits and ambulance fees, could be a substantial amount of money. Although the agreement has limitations, it is still important for students to be aware of the options in case of an emergency. 

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