The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Health Center fees to increase

Prepare to pay more money for less health care this fall.

By the fall semester, the Health Center will increase fees from $10 to $13 and cut services to balance the deficit.

“This increase will prevent us from being in the red for next year. It’s not going to be a big amount of money,” Debbie Conover, coordinator of the Health Center, said.

“The state of California says that the health services center can charge up to thirteen dollars for student health care,” Conover said. “We want to, at least, be up to standard with what the other health centers are charging.”

Students who are receiving financial aid do not have to pay the fee; as a result, the Health Center does not receive the proper income it needs.

“About sixty percent of our students are fee-wavered. They pay no health fee at all,” Conover said. “In fact, we were being reimbursed by the state for those students.

Conover said, however, that over the last two years, the state has not given the reimbursements.

As a consequence of only 40 percent of the students paying the health fee, funding for the Health Center is diminishing.

“We were audited by the state and the audit was done by the people who do the mandated cost reimbursements,” Conover said. “The first thing asked us is why they should be reimbursing us when we weren’t charging the maximum fee.”

Conover said the Health Center would be shut down if not for the fee increase.

“As health care providers, we felt that students were going to lose a lot more if the fees were not to increase; we would have eventually had to close down,” Conover said.

Students said as long as the Health Center is open, the fee adjustment is fine.

“I have used the center at times,” Katrina Tate, sociology major, said. “I was in a position where I needed to know if I was infected by a disease; I knew I could turn to the Health Center.”

Free of charge, the Health Center offers chiropractors, physicians, psychological counseling, HIV testing and Chlamydia testing; however, some services must be cut to help blunt the deficit.

“We had to cut back psychologists from forty hours to twenty hours a week. We’ve had to cut back on our women’s health practitioners services that we have offered,” Conover said.

The Health Center is located between the pool and the Art Building.

Chlamydia clinics and HIV clincs are available Tuesdays; psychologist appointments may be made for Fridays.

“These three dollars will help keep these doors open for students. That way, they won’t have to be rushed to a county hospital where they would have to wait a long time and spend a great deal of money,” Conover said.

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