Healthcare & Insurance
Comprehensive health care for graduate students is primarily provided through the Student Health Center and the university-sponsored Graduate/Professional Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan.
The Student Health Center
The Student Health Center (SHC) is located in the Zerfoss Building at 1161 21st Ave S., behind Medical Center North, adjacent to the Round Wing. The entrance faces McTyeire House. Current hours of operation are available online. SHC operates on an appointment system; therefore, students should call 322-2427 to schedule an appointment. Walk-in appointments are also available on a first-come first-serve basis. Basic primary medical care and some routine lab tests are provided at no cost. Many commonly used medications are dispensed very inexpensively, but only those that have been prescribed by a Student Health provider.
- Dermatology and Sports Medicine
- These services are offered at the Student Health Center the academic year. No charges are made to students for these visits. You must, however, be referred (by appointment) to these clinics by a Student Health provider.
- Mental Health Services
- Confidential mental health services are provided by a staff psychiatrist, psychologist, and social worker. The emphasis is placed on short-term counseling and crisis intervention, i.e., 6-8 visits. Appointments should be made by calling 322-3414. Referrals to the Psychological and Counseling Center or to other local psychologists and psychiatrists are made for students needing long-term care. The student insurance plan also covers visits with outside mental health care providers.
- Nutritional Services
- The Student Health Center has a registered dietician available for consultation with students. The dietician is available for general nutrition advice, specific dietary requirements for health problems, and management of eating disorders.
- Allergies and Allergy Shots
- Allergy shots are given by appointment at the Student Health Center for a minimal fee. Students must provide their own antigens which should be stored at Student Health. Vanderbilt also boasts a world renowned Allergy Clinic, which is available for student use by referral from the SHC.
- Preventive Medicine
- Immunizations and screening are available to all students at the cost of vaccination or test. Check-ups are free.
For students visiting the Student Health Center, there are six “marked” parking spaces located between McTyeire and the Center for Health Services. You must obtain a parking permit from the receptionist at Student Health upon check-in. Cars without permits may be ticketed and/or towed.
Dependents (spouses, partners, or children) cannot be seen at Student Health, although they can be added to the Student Health Insurance for an additional fee. Vanderbilt Clinic offers excellent complete medical services, including dental and eye care, but is not cheap. Other hospitals in the area include Baptist, St. Thomas, and Centennial. Check the phone book for particular specialties.
Student Health Insurance
A Board of Trust policy mandates that all VU students have health insurance. You are automatically enrolled and billed for the university sponsored plan unless an insurance waiver is submitted through Gallagher Koster showing that you have comparable health coverage from another source. Many graduate departments pay for their graduate students’ health insurance, so you will want to find out (if you don’t know already) whether or not this applies to your department. Students submitting waivers should be aware that the completion of all forms required by their insurance providers to cover services rendered is their responsibility, not that of the Student Health Center. Students who are covered by a private insurance company while attending Vanderbilt may still use Student Health for primary care provider; the same SHC services are available to all students, regardless of insurance.
Graduate/Professional Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan
The university-sponsored graduate student health insurance is administered by Gallagher Koster Insurance. This health insurance policy allows Student Health to refer students to outside specialty clinics and covers hospitalization should it become necessary. The student insurance plan is fairly comprehensive, although a referral for outside medical care from the Student Health Center is required before any (non-emergency) outside services can be provided. Covered medical services include inpatient treatment, outpatient specialty treatment, mental health services, physical therapy, home health visits, and prescription coverage (including contraception). See the official plan brochure for complete information about the Student Insurance Plan, or the unofficial student-created reference guide for something a bit more readable.
Graduate Student Involvement
Graduate students can have a say in what services are covered by the Student Health Insurance. Contact the Graduate Student Council with concerns about the health insurance policy. Better yet, come to the next GSC meeting and get involved!
The Student Health Insurance does not cover any dental care outside of emergencies. However, the Basix Dental Savings Plan does give graduate students access to comprehensive dental care for a reduced cost.
Like dental, there is no official vision insurance for Vanderbilt graduate students, although there is an affiliated discount plan. See the EyeMed Access program website for more information on participating providers and their rates.
Spouses and Dependents
Spouses and dependents are eligible to be added to a student’s health insurance for an additional fee. The current plan document lists the rates for spouse and dependent enrollment. While only students are eligible to use the Student Health Center, the rest of the insurance coverage is identical for all enrolled dependents as it is for covered students. The Student Health Center also maintains a list of healthcare provider resources available to spouses and dependents .
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- Signature Health Alliance, part of the student insurance Preferred Provider Network
- Beech Street, part of the student insurance Preferred Provider Network
- Wiki Dentist Reviews
- Wiki Eyecare Reviews
- Wiki Doctor Reviews
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