Ithaca College will be partnering with the Cayuga Health System (CHS) for Student Health Services beginning Aug. 15.
In a campus-wide email June 14, Bonnie Prunty, vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Life, announced that the partnership will continue the relationship that the college has formed with CHS and improve student health services.
“In addition to being an active partner in supporting our educational mission, particularly our robust collaboration in sports medicine, joint physical therapy program, as well as our recently launched physician assistant program, CHS also played a major role in supporting Ithaca College’s reopening efforts following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the email stated.
Prunty said the partnership will most significantly impact how students will be billed for health services on campus.
Prior to the partnership, students were not charged a fee to visit the Health Center or for any labs that were done at the Health Center. If students filled prescriptions off-campus or referred for further care off-campus, like an MRI, they were charged through their insurance.
Now, students will be billed through their insurance provider. Students are required to be covered under a valid health insurance plan. The college offers a health insurance option for students through University Health Plans, which costs $2,713 for one full year of coverage. Students may choose to opt out for a different insurance provider, as long as it is in-network and accepted by CHS. The deadline for students to submit the waiver form to opt out of the college’s health insurance is Sept. 15.
Prunty said the college anticipates that the partnership will be able to provide Student Health Services with extended operational hours for the Hammond Health Center, more efficient care, a streamlined referral process for specialist care, a wider range of services due to CHS affiliates, more opportunities for further partnerships and an integrated behavioral health model that will include two onsite behavioral health consultants and one remote behavioral health and collaborative care manager.
Mental health counseling will continue to be provided through the college’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which is not part of CHS. While it has expanded its staff and hours of operation, some members of the campus community have expressed concern with CAPS in the past.
The college will be hosting two virtual gatherings to discuss the new partnership from 9–10 p.m. July 18 and 7–8 p.m. July 20. Members of the administration from the college and representatives from both CHS and the college’s student health service will present and answer questions.
Students and families with questions are encouraged to attend the virtual sessions and check out the website page dedicated to student health services. Prunty also encouraged campus community members with further questions to email or call representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-274-3374.
“As a primarily residential college, providing a robust on-campus healthcare option that is easily accessible for our students has always been a priority at IC,” the email stated. “By entering this partnership with CHS and modernizing our healthcare model, we have ensured that present and future IC students will be able to receive the critical benefits of high-quality, on-campus healthcare services and support.”