Health Service Updates Related to COVID-19

In an effort to protect the health of the students and the staff and minimize the spread of COVID-19, we are temporarily changing our model of care beginning March 23, 2020 and it will continue until further notice. 

 
Health Service  will provide telemedicine for students on or near campus during our modified hours by calling our regular number 617-627-3350. Coronavirus testing is done for those with significant symptoms of cough and fever. Students without symptoms or with routine cold symptoms do not qualify for testing. If testing is warranted, we will provide you with an appointment. In addition: 
 
  • In-person services are now limited to pre-screened urgent care needs, in keeping with CDC Guidelines for Pandemic Operations.
  • Please call us (617-627-3350) to be pre-screened for a visit. We are unable to receive unscheduled walk-in traffic into the building at this time.
  • Urgent care services are being provided via phone consutlation, secure messaging and telemedicine. There are some legal/regulatory/insurance barriers depending on your location.
  • If you have a prescription that needs to be picked up at Health Service, please call us (617-627-3350) prior to coming to our building.
  • If you have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 or become ill yourself while away from campus, please email covid19@tufts.edu. Your information will be kept strictly confidential and may assist us in tracking the spread of COVID-19.

John Hopkins COVID-19 Map

Wear a Mask        Proper Handwashing

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have COVID-19?

If you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.

You can visit the following resources for additional information:

What is the process for making a telemedicine appointment with a clinician? 

A student may call Health Service during the hours of 8:30 a.m to 4 p.m. and request an appointment. We are closed 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch. The doors of Health Service are locked for walk in traffic. Our goal is to be able to provide limited onsite care at this time while keeping the building safe.

How will telemedicine look like in practice for students?

A student will be given an appointment time with a clinician when they call.  The clinician will set up a phone call or webex with the student to identify their concern and next steps. 

Will Health Service make any in-person appointments with patients?  

Students who report upper respiratory symptoms, fever, cough and/or a known contact with someone who has the COVID19 virus may be offered an onsite appointment to be tested but will not enter the building. We have set up a tent outside our office on the right hand side of the building. The student will meet the clinician at that site and be tested if the clinician makes a determination it is warranted. 

How will Health Service handle patients that require in-person appointments? 

In some instances where an in-person exam is required based on a symptom reported to a clinician, a face-to-face appointment will be made and the student will be seen in the building at a designated time.  

How will Health Service handle patients that may have contracted COVID-19?

We will continue to follow the same procedure we have been following with partners from Residential Life, Dean of Student Affairs, Dining and Facilities. Once a patient is tested, they need to remain in isolation until the results come back. If the student is negative, they can be released from isolation. If the test is positive, the student will stay in isolation until they meet the criteria for release:  without fever for 3 days (no Tylenol or ibuporofen) and symptoms substantially improved OR 10 days from onset of symptoms WHICHEVER IS LONGER. Release date will be determined by a clinician.  

Will Health Service test patients for COVID-19? 

Yes, for now, and as long as they meet testing critria. But things are changing rapidly and other larger drive-through tests are being set up throughout the city. We will respect the guidance of our local health authorities on this issue moving forward.

Can I get COVID-19 anti-body testing at Health Service? 
We understand that many of our patients are interested in antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the illness known as COVID-19. Currently we are NOT ordering this type of testing routinely. At this point in time, antibody testing is useful for research, epidemiologic surveillance, and in certain cases for confirming a diagnosis in someone who is sick. There currently is not enough scientific information to prove that the test is reliable or that having antibodies means that someone is immune to the virus. The development of different types of testing for SARS-CoV-2 is actively being researched and when there are clear clinical guidelines for whom to test for antibodies and how to interpret the results, we will certainly provide testing to those for whom it is indicated.
 
We know there are companies that are currently offering and selling this testing. However, we have determined that it is not in the interest of our students to order blood tests that will not help them make health-care decisions and may result in a significant out of pocket cost. Right now, antibody testing cannot tell us reliably who has had SARS-CoV-2 infection or who is at risk for getting COVID-19 in the future. 
 
We continue to actively monitor scientific developments and guidelines published by public health authorities and will inform our community as healthcare recommendations evolve. 
 
Who should I call if the Health Service is closed?

If you want to see a medical clinician after hours you can visit our After Hours page or check the Telehealth options on this page.

What is "quarantine"?

This article from Cleveland Clinic provides a very thorough and simple explanation.

What is "isolation"?

Isolation is very similar to "quarantine". The difference is that in isolation, the patient has been confirmed as positive for COVID-19.  It is important to maintain strict self-isolation practices until your doctor says you meet the criteria for release:  without fever for 3 days (no Tylenol or ibuporofen) and symptoms substantially improved OR 10 days from onset of symptoms WHICHEVER IS LONGER. 

How do I get my medications to the pharmacy that is closest to me?

You can transfer most medications from one pharmacy to another. Please visit this link for more information.

Telehealth

For students that are not on or near campus, due to medical licensing limitations, we are ask that you inquire about telehealth options offered through your insurance company. 

Student Health Insurance (UnitedHealthcare StudentResources)
  • We are encouraging members to take advantage of our Virtual Visit* capability, available through the HealthiestYou mobile app, or for more information through their www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount.
  • UHCSR insureds have access at no charge, when included with their UHCSR medical plan, or at a $40 for all other students.  
  • To find out if your plan includes this benefit or any other benefits, access your My Account and select My Benefits, then Additional Benefits.
 
Other Insurance companies

Please contact your insurance company to inquire about telehealth services they offer and cost. Here are some of the most popular resources:

 

 

Student Health Insurance
Student Health Insurance coverage remains unaffected by the move to online instruction. UnitedHealthcare StudentResources is taking action to ensure health plan members impacted by COVID-19 have the support and resources they need.  Information will continue to be updated as it relates to COVID-19 at www.uhcsr.com/news-main as more information becomes available.  For questions about the student health insurance you can email us at studenthealthinsurance@tufts.edu.

Access to Medical Care, Coverage in the United States
  • Members who feel like they may have been exposed to COVID-19 are being advised to immediately call their provider. To find a network provider they can visit www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount or their UHCSR mobile app.
  • UHCSR will continue to monitor for any State regulatory guidance that pertains to coverage.
 
Access to Medical Care, Coverage outside the United States
  • The Student Health Insurance Plan provides worldwide coverage.  The plan provides the same benefits as if you were on campus. In addition, through participation in the student insurance plan, each student and his or her enrolled dependents are eligible for travel assistance services. The services are provided through UnitedHealthcare Global/Global Emergency Services to access services please call: 800-527-0218 (toll-free within United States) 410-453-6330 (collect outside the United States)  Services are also accessible via e-mail.
  • When traveling you should make sure you have your student insurance ID card. When traveling internationally, you may be asked to pay first for your services and then seek reimbursement.
  • Please visit the UnitedHealthcare website to download a claim form. Forms can be used for Medical or Pharmacy claims and should be submitted within 90 days of service.  If you have any questions, please refer to your insurance guide.
Student Assistance Program
  • UHCSR insureds have access to Student Assistance Program through Optum which provides a wide range of resources to students telephonically including 24/7 counseling, health risks assessments, health/fitness calculators and other helpful resources.  The phone number is available on your UHCSR Mobile App or your www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount.
  • For additional resources, please visit the Tufts University Counseling Center page.
Optum Support Line

Optum is opening its Emotional-Support Help Line, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists to support people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. Optum’s toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone.

Testing and Treatment for COVID-19
UHCSR is:
  • waiving costs for COVID-19 testing provided at the approved locations, in accordance to CDC guidelines
  • waiving copays, coinsurance and deductibles for visits for visits associated with COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician's ofice, an urgent care center or an emergency department
  • waiving member cost-sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 through May 31, 2020.

 

Q: Will testing and physician visits be covered for COVID-19?
A: Yes, we will be waiving costs for COVID-19 testing provided at approved locations in accordance with the CDC guidelines. In addition, we will waive copays, coinsurance and deductibles for visits associated with COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician’s office, an urgent care center or an emergency department
 
Q: Will treatment, hospitization or isolation be covered for COVID-19?
A: All current policy provisions and limitations will apply to all services except for diagnostic testing, refer to initial Q and A above. 
 
Q: What about testing performed overseas, will it be reimbursed? 
A: If the member incurred the expense for the testing outside the US, the itemized bill and proof of payment can be submitted.  The claim will be subject to policy provisions and limitations.   The member can upload the required documentation online via My Account.
 
 
 

Ambulance Services
Q: Would this service be a covered benefit?  
A: If an ambulance service is used, the claim will be paid same as any other sickness subject to normal policy provisions and limitations. 

Polices with referral requirement: 
Q: Will the referral requirement apply?
A: The referral provision will be waived for COVID-19 tests and/or treatment. In the event a claim is denied for no referral, it can be appealed for reconsideration. 
 
Exclusions and Limitations:
Q: Are there any excluded charges if a student is hospitalized with the potential Coronavirus? 
A: All services rendered will be subject to normal policy provisions and limitations. 
 
Isolation Care:
Q: Does UHCSR offer any provisions for students who have to be isolated? 
A: The student insurance policy can be used when the covered member is being treated for an illness or injury.   The insured person must be treated by a licensed, board certified or board eligible physician qualified to practice in the area of medicine. All services are subject to normal policy provisions and limitations.
 
Q: How are claims going to be processed if treatment is rendered in the emergency room?
A: Expenses incurred for Medical Emergency will be paid only for Sickness or Injury if it meets the conditions listed in the Certificate’s definition for Medical Emergency.  Emergency room expenses will not be paid for minor injuries or minor sicknesses.  Refer to the Medical Emergency definition in the Certificate as well as the Medical Expense Benefits and the Schedule of Benefits.

 

University Announcements

Visit https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/ for more information about COVID-19 at Tufts. The site is regularly updated and serves as a centralized location for information, guidance, and resources on coronavirus for the Tufts community.

To ensure you receive university-wide announcements please sign up to receive future communications on that topic using our online form.

Message from our Partners

Counseling and Mental Health

Health Promotion and Prevention

The Haven at College Virtual Outpatient Center (Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders)

The Haven at College, in collaboration with Tufts, provides college students with outpatient treatment and recovery programs for mental health and substance-use disorders. The Haven is now admitting students to its confidential virtual outpatient program. All online outpatient services are covered by Tufts’ student health insurance. Students can connect with like-minded peers who, along with Haven clinicians, provide community, accountability, and relief from isolation during this challenging time. Treatment services include: group, individual, and family therapy; case management; life skills and educational sessions; as well as recovery coaching; family support; online recovery meetings; and online peer support. Learn more about all their programs at thehavenatcollege.com or call 888-224-2836 for more information.