Frequently Asked Questions

Student Health Services answers students’ most frequently asked questions. If you do not see your question here, please contact us (703-993-2831) and we will be happy to answer.

About Student Health

Who is eligible to be seen at Student Health?

Eligibility for Students

All currently enrolled students are eligible to receive healthcare at our facilities.

Upon graduation, students may be seen in Student Health Services (SHS) until the end of the month in which they graduate.

Eligibility for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff with health concerns are advised to see their health care provider. However if a staff/ faculty member has an acute illness requiring immediate attention, s/he will be seen at Student Health Services. Follow-up care should be provided by the faculty/staff’s health care provider in the community. There will be a $50 charge for the visit in addition to the fees for any lab tests or procedures. Any exceptions have to be approved by the Executive Director of SHS.

Faculty and staff who are medically required to receive blood pressure checks may do so at no charge at SHS. Please contact SHS (703-993-2831) for more information.

Faculty and staff are eligible to use the Allergy Clinic services, Travel Clinic services, and Immunization Clinic services. Please see the list of associated fees for services.

What if I cannot make my appointment? What if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?

We understand that sometimes you may need to cancel or reschedule an appointment. One of the goals of Student Health Services is to provide quality health care in a timely manner for our patients. Patients should contact Student Health to cancel or reschedule an appointment at least 4 hours prior to the appointment time.  Cancelling your appointment with enough notice allows this time to be made available to another patient.

There will be a No-Show fee assessed if a patient misses their appointment and/or does not cancel their appointment at least 4 hours prior to the appointment time.

A patient can cancel an appointment by:

  • Calling Student Health at 703-993-2831 to cancel or reschedule.
  • Emailing shsinfo@gmu.edu to cancel an appointment only.
    • Please include your name, G#, and date/time of your appointment
    • It is helpful to include the words ‘cancel appointment’ in the subject line
    • No additional information is needed in the email
  • Calling the clinic where your appointment is scheduled to cancel or reschedule.
  • Walking into the clinic to cancel or reschedule.

More information about the No-Show fee

What if I need medical care and Student Health is closed?

If Student Health Services is closed and you have a medical emergency, you may contact our free after-hours nurse advice line (703-993-2831), your primary care provider, an emergency room, urgent care facility, or call 911.

If you are experiencing an immediate or life threatening emergency call 911.

If you have the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan, you can locate a provider using the Find a Doctor search tool (“DocFind”). In the “Search For” drop down menu, select the type of medical facility you are looking for (Urgent Care Facility, Walk-In Clinic, Primary Care, Hospital).  Enter the Zip Code nearest to your location. Select Plan: “Student Health Plans”. A list of care facilities will be displayed.

To avoid the Aetna Student Health Insurance Emergency Room Co-pay, look for an urgent care facility that is not a full service hospital emergency room.

Does Student Health accept walk-in patients?

Student Health Services has walk-in space available for acute or emergency illness or injuries. For a non-urgent concern, please call (703-993-2831) or stop by and make an appointment.

How much will my appointment cost?

There is no charge to be seen by a healthcare provider at Student Health Services. There are minimal fees for lab procedures, medications, treatments, dressings, or supplies.

Will I need insurance? Do I need the student health insurance to be seen?

No. SHS does not accept insurance. However, if you have health insurance it may help to cover outside lab fees that might be incurred, so bring your insurance card if you have one.

All George Mason University students are eligible to see a provider at Student Health Services (SHS) whether they have insurance or not. There is no charge to be seen by a healthcare provider, there are fees for some procedures, lab work, and medications.

What will I need to bring to my appointment?

Bring your Mason ID, a method of payment in case there are any fees, and your insurance card if you have one in case lab work is needed.

Do you have doctors at Student Health?

Yes, we have board certified doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other medical specialists who work together to help you.

Can I speak with Student Health about an ongoing medical concern?

Yes. If you have an ongoing medical concern, please call to schedule an appointment to talk with one of our providers. Please bring in, or send in, your medical records for your appointment.

We can answer questions about services we provide and how we can help support you during your time at Mason. Having regular follow-ups with a health provider can keep you healthy and in class during this important part of your life!

Can I get a routine physical at Student Health Services?

Student Health Services offers physical exams to students who are nursing majors, ROTC, athletes and for Mason sports. We also provide annual physical exams. Call to schedule an appointment. There is a fee for a physical exam.

Students requesting special physicals or who will need a specific form completed must bring the form to their appointment to make sure Student Health can complete the physical exam and fill out the form.  We recommend scheduling your appointment well before any form deadline to ensure your form and requirements can be completed.

Student Health Services may not able to conduct some employment or pre-operative physicals. We also do not conduct physical exams for Department of Transportation or Motor Vehicles, US Immigration, Police or Fire Departments, or scuba diving.

Call if you have a question about whether Student Health can perform your required physical exam.

 

Does Student Health provide excuse notes?

Student Health Services does not provide medical excuse (doctor’s) notes for missed classes or missed work.

Do I need a prescription for emergency contraception?

No. Emergency contraception is available over-the-counter.

Emergency contraception is available at Student Health Services for a fee. You will need to be seen by a nurse at Student Health who will discuss how emergency contraceptives work and a pregnancy test may be ordered if needed. The nurse can dispense emergency contraception.

In Clinic Pharmacy Closing October 3, 2015.

Student Health Services will close its Pharmacy starting October 3, 2015. We will no longer dispense or fill prescriptions at our in-clinic pharmacy.

After October 3rd, students will receive written prescriptions to provide to a local pharmacy.

If you have any questions about the Pharmacy closing, call us at 703-993-2831.

Can Student Health Services write prescriptions?

Yes. If recommended during your appointment, your healthcare provider will write a prescription that you can have filled at a local pharmacy.

You can be given a written copy. Or, the prescription can be faxed or called-in to a pharmacy of your choice. Please provide the following information to Student Health to have your prescription faxed or called in:

  • Pharmacy Name
  • Pharmacy Fax Number
  • Pharmacy Phone Number

Can Student Health Services fill a prescription? Can I have a provider at Student Health order refills of a prescription written by my doctor at home?

You can take your current prescription or have it faxed to a local pharmacy. Student Health Services does not fill prescription medications.

If you need a refill, you can contact your doctor. Or, you may schedule an appointment with one of our Student Health providers. Bring your prescription with you.  Our providers can discuss your prescription and refill options.

Can I get medicine at Student Health Services?

Student Health Services has a selection of common over-the-counter medications. If recommended by your Student Health provider a medication can be dispensed for a fee at your appointment.

Some examples of medicines kept in stock include emergency contraception, allergy medication, medications for colds, and burn cream.

How much will my prescription cost at a local pharmacy?

If you have health insurance, contact your health insurance provider to ask about the cost of prescriptions and a list of in-network pharmacies. Take your health insurance card with you to the pharmacy.

For the self-pay cost of your prescription, you can contact a local pharmacy and ask about the cost of your prescription. Student Health has a list of local pharmacies and prescription resources that you may find useful.

Student Health Insurance

What is covered by the George Mason Student Health Insurance Plan?

For a complete plan description, including covered services, please review the current year Student Health Insurance Summary of Benefits and Coverage. If you have any questions about coverage, contact Aetna Customer Service (1-800-878-1945). Visit the Insurance webpages for details and to view the current plan design summary.

In general, the plan provides extensive coverage at a reasonable cost on and off-campus. It provides coverage anywhere in the US and while traveling abroad, including worldwide travel assistance and emergency air transportation services. The plan also includes dental and vision discount programs.

Who do I contact with questions about the student health insurance plan or pharmacy/prescriptions?

For questions about the Student Health Insurance Plan you can contact Aetna Student Health Customer Service (1-800-878-1945) or the Insurance Office (703-993-2827 or 703-993-7634).

For pharmacy or prescription questions, you can contact Aetna Pharmacy Management (1-888-792-3862).

How does the insurance work? What will I pay?

Briefly stated, first you must meet your annual deductible ($250 for the plan year). This deductible is a cumulative total to any and all healthcare providers, outside of Student Health Services.  After you have paid your annual deductible, when you go to a “preferred care provider” (a doctor that accepts the Aetna Student Health insurance) then Aetna will pay 80% and you will pay 20% of covered healthcare costs.

For complete coverage and plan details, including the prescription medication copays,  please review the Student Health Insurance Summary of Benefits and Coverage. For questions, contact Aetna Customer Service (1-800-878-1945) or the Student Health Insurance Office (703-993-2827 or 703-993-7634).

How do I pay for the insurance plan premium? When do I pay?

Domestic Students

You pay when you enroll online at the Aetna Student Health website.

International and INTO Students

You pay your health insurance premium through George Mason University via Patriot Web because the premium is charged to your tuition account. The insurance premium is due at your tuition due date.

Please note that the insurance premium is deducted from all payments received by the university before funds are applied to tuition and other charges.

I already have insurance or I am covered under my parents’ insurance plan. Can I keep my plan?

Domestic Students

Yes, though it is recommended that you first inquire with your health insurance company.  Let them know that you will be a student at George Mason University and check that you will be covered in the Northern Virginia area. You may also want to contact your insurance provider to locate local doctors who accept your insurance.

You might also age-off your parent’s insurance while at Mason. If you are covered by your parents’ policy, please review it carefully to make certain you are still eligible for coverage throughout your college years. Read more about what to do if you age off your parent’s plan.

International Students

International students (F-1/J-1 visa), who want to keep their insurance plan, should carefully read all insurance waiver criteria. Your insurance plan must meet all the requirements and you must submit your waiver by the waiver deadline.  If you meet all requirements, you can fill out the waiver application.  If you are not sure that your insurance plan meets the waiver criteria, contact the Insurance Office (703-993-2827 or 703-993-7634).

Note: All waiver applications will be audited.  Student Health Services reserves the right to make final waiver decisions.

What do copay, deductible, or other insurance terms mean?

For information about commonly used insurance terms, please read the definitions located in the Aetna Student Health brochure or visit Aetna online.

If you have questions about your coverage or other terms, contact Aetna Customer Service (1-800-878-1945). You can also contact the George Mason University Student Health Insurance office (703-993-2827 or 703-993-7634).

There is a video explaining the terms on our Student Health insurance resources webpage.

When I graduate, if I have the student insurance plan, when will my coverage end?

Your insurance will terminate at the end of the health insurance term.

Date Insurance Coverage Ends

  • Domestic Students: August 15
  • International and INTO Students:
    • In Fall: January 4
    • In Spring: August 15

For example, if you are an International or INTO student and graduate in the fall semester, your health insurance will end January 4.  If you are an International or INTO student and graduate in the spring semester, your health insurance will end August 15. Domestic students’ coverage will end August 15, regardless of fall or spring graduation.

Insurance and healthcare resources for Mason Graduates

Am I eligible to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan?

Students at George Mason University are eligible to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan if they fall into one of the below categories:

  • Undergraduate students taking 3 or more credit hours per semester
  • Graduate, master, certificate or non-degree students taking 3 or more credit hours per semester
  • PhD or Doctoral students enrolled in a doctoral program.
  • Students taking less than the required credit hours but graduating in the current academic year are also eligible to enroll.

International and INTO students  with a J-1 or F-1 visa will be automatically signed up for the plan by the Insurance Office.  Health insurance is required for all F-1 & J-1 visa students at Mason per University Policy #6002.

If you are a J-1 Visiting Scholar, please contact the Insurance Office (703-99-7634 or 703-993-2827) for information.

Visit our Insurance webpages for more information about the insurance plan.

How do I enroll in the George Mason Student Health Insurance plan?

Domestic Students

Domestic students and eligible dependents, enroll online at Aetna Student Health during the Open Enrollment period.

Domestic Students may purchase the plan until the final enrollment deadline.  If a student experiences a significant life change that directly affects their insurance coverage they may submit a request to enroll after the final enrollment deadline within 31 days of the significant life change.  If you experience a significant life change which results in loss of coverage under another health plan, contact the Insurance Office (703-993-2827 or 703-993-7634).

International and INTO students

International and INTO students are enrolled by the Mason Insurance Office.

International and INTO students enroll their eligible dependents online at Aetna Student Health during the Open Enrollment period.

Can I sign a dependent (child, spouse) up for the insurance?

Yes.  If you have the Mason Health Insurance Plan, you can sign up your eligible dependents online during the open enrollment period.

If your dependent is arriving in the United States after the open enrollment deadline, contact the Insurance Office (703-993-2827 or 703-993-7634).

I will lose my current insurance coverage or I will age off my parent’s plan while at Mason. Can I enroll in the Mason Student Health Insurance Plan?

Contact the Student Insurance Office (703-993-2827 or 703-993-7634) for detailed information or any questions.

Please check the eligibility criteria. If you age off your parent’s insurance or lose your coverage during an open enrollment period, you are able to enroll online.

If you have lost coverage or aged off your parent’s insurance plan after the open enrollment period, and have not lost coverage for more than 31 days, you may enroll in the Mason Student Health Insurance Plan. Contact the Insurance Office for more information.

How do I submit a student health insurance waiver? How do I know it was approved?

Please refer to the instructions for waiving the George Mason University Student Health Insurance Plan. Submit your waiver before the waiver deadline.

If an international or INTO student fails to submit a waiver, the student will be automatically enrolled in the George Mason University Student Health Insurance Plan and will pay the premium charged to their Patriot Web account.

Once you have submitted your waiver application, check your Patriot Web account.  If your waiver application was approved, the balance of the insurance premium will be $0.

What happens if I fail to submit my waiver?

You are enrolled in the Mason Student Health Insurance Plan and you have to pay the premium charged to your Patriot Web account.

Please submit your waiver by the appropriate waiver deadline.

How do I get an insurance ID card?

All Students

Students can print a paper insurance ID-card online on the Aetna Student Health website. Click either ‘Print Your ID Card’ or ‘Member Log In’ and follow the prompts.

Students can call Aetna Student Health customer service or log in to their Aetna member account and request a replacement ID-card to be mailed.

Receiving your card during enrollment:

Domestic Students

Aetna Student Health will mail you an ID-card once your enrollment is processed. Usually the process takes about 10 business days.

International and INTO Students (F-1/J-1 visas)

Aetna Student Health will mail permanent ID-cards directly to the student’s current U.S. mailing address about 4-6 weeks after the beginning of the semester. If there is no current U.S. mailing address on your Patriot Web account, you will not receive your mailed ID-card. Your Patriot Web account must reflect your current U.S. mailing address in the beginning of the semester.  

How can I access my insurance claim information and update my mailing address?

Visit Aetna Student Health website, click on ‘Member Log In’ or ‘Members – Aetna Navigator’.

  • If you are already registered, log-in to the secure member site.
  • If you are not yet registered, follow the instructions for First Time Users.

What doctors or other medical practitioner may I use with the student health insurance?

It is in your best interest to first seek treatment at Student Health Services (except in an emergency). By utilizing services provided by Mason, medical cost will be contained and it will help keep premiums at reasonable rates. It is free of charge to be seen by provider at Student Health.

You may go to any doctor or provider you wish, but it is recommended that you use a “preferred care” provider, because the insurance will cover 80% of the care cost. If you see a non-preferred care provider, only 60% will be covered. Do not forget the annual deductible.  The insurance company will start to reimburse you only after you have met your deductible.

The Aetna Find a Doctor tool will help you locate doctors, hospitals, after-hours urgent care facilities, dentists, specialists and pharmacies that are preferred care providers.

Will I need a referral when seeing a specialist?

No. The Mason Student Health Insurance plan does not require a referral to see a specialist.

How do I get a prescription filled using my insurance? Is there a co-pay?

When you go to a preferred care pharmacy, you will be asked to pay your co-pay only. To locate a preferred care pharmacy, use the Aetna Find a Doctor tool online.

Co-Pay Amounts:

  • $15 for Generic
  • $40 for Preferred Brand
  • $ 75 for Non-Preferred Brand

If you go to a non-preferred care pharmacy, you will be asked to pay for the prescription in full. After you pick up your prescription, you will submit a claim to Aetna.

For additional questions about prescriptions/pharmacy, please call Aetna Pharmacy Management (1-800-792-3862).

What type of dental care is covered with the Student Health Insurance Plan?

The Aetna Student Health plan does not include dental insurance, but it does include a dental discount program: the Vital Savings Discount Program. In most instances savings range from 15-50% discount on services from general dentistry and cleanings to root canals, crowns, and orthodontia (braces). Actual costs and savings vary by provider and geographical area. No claims to file.

To find a dentist who participates in the Vital Savings Discount Program, a student should use the “Find a Doctor” tool located on the Aetna Student Health website.

Student Health maintains a list of off-campus health care resources. This page has information about local  health clinics, local reduced priced dental care, and reduced priced prescription drug programs.

How do I submit an insurance claim form?

Most preferred-care providers will submit the claim for you.

If your doctor’s office will not submit the claim for you, you may download claim forms online by visiting the Aetna Student Health website. Select ‘Member log-in’ or ‘Member-Aetna Navigator’ and log in to your account, select ‘Find Forms’. Or, click on ‘Helpful Resources and Forms’ for more information about how to submit the form.

Immunization

Must the Immunization Record Form be signed by a doctor or healthcare provider?

YES, the Immunization Record Form must be signed by a healthcare provider IF the immunization records have been transcribed onto the form.

NO, the Immunization Record Form does not need to be signed by a healthcare provider IF the form is turned into us with a copy of the records attached for verification.

Where can I find a copy of my immunization records?

Records may be located by checking with your parents, high school, the healthcare provider who administered your vaccinations, previous university (excluding 2-year community college), or military service branch.

Please keep in mind that the records you locate may not be complete, you may still require additional immunizations.

What should I do if I cannot locate my immunization records?

Measles, Mumps, Rubella

If you are sure that you have been vaccinated against the measles, mumps, and rubella you can have titers drawn. A sample of your blood will be tested to determine the status of your immunity.

Tetanus, Diphtheria

If you do not have documentation proving that you have been vaccinated against tetanus and diphtheria you will have to be re-immunized.

Hepatitis B

If you do not have documentation to support that you have been immunized against Hepatitis B you can have titers drawn, be re-immunized, or sign a waiver stating you do not wish to do so.

Meningitis (Meningococcal)

If you do not have documentation to support that you have been immunized against meningitis you may either be re-immunized or sign a waiver stating you do not wish to do so.

Tuberculosis

All students must submit the Tuberculosis screening questionnaire.

What is a titer? What is a Titer Lab Report?

A titer is a laboratory test that measures the presence and amount of antibodies in blood. A titer may be used to prove immunity to disease. A blood sample is taken and tested.

If the test is positive (above a particular known value) the individual has immunity. If the test is negative (no immunity) or equivocal (not enough immunity) you need to be vaccinated.

A Titer Lab Report is generated by the lab that tested the blood sample. The Titer Lab Report must include the test type, exact values, signature, and date.

I’m a non-degree or part-time student, do I have to submit my immunization records?

Yes. All students, part-time, full-time, degree, and non-degree students, living on or off campus, must submit immunization records in order to attend classes at George Mason University.

I am a US citizen, do I still have to submit my immunization records?

Yes, all Mason students are required to submit their immunization records.

Will my health insurance pay for my immunizations or titer lab reports?

Students should contact their health insurance provider to check their insurance coverage for immunizations and titers. Student Health Services cannot guarantee coverage, payment or reimbursement by your insurance company.

Students who have purchased the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan have necessary immunizations and/or titers covered at 100% at Student Health Services. Details can be found in your Plan Details and Summary.

Is the Hepatitis B vaccine required?

According to Virginia State Law, students must either be immunized against Hepatitis B,  or show proof of positive immunity, or sign a waiver indicating that they do not wish to be vaccinated against the disease and understand the risks. Students must complete a series of 3 injections before they are considered completely immune to Hepatitis B.

Signing the waiver does not mean a student cannot be vaccinated in the future.

 

Is the Meningitis vaccine required?

According to Virginia State Law, students under the age of 21 must receive a dose of meningococcal vaccine at or after their 16th birthday, or sign a waiver indicating that they do not wish to be vaccinated against the disease and understand the risks.

Signing the waiver does not mean a student cannot be vaccinated in the future.

 

I had measles, mumps or rubella as a child, is this sufficient?

A history of disease is NOT accepted as proof of immunization. It is recommended to have titers drawn to verify sufficient immunity. If immunity is not positive, you will be required to receive MMR vaccinations.

I received the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination as a child, is this sufficient?

Yes, these are childhood immunizations and usually provide lifelong immunity, provided it was administered after 1967 and after your first birthday.

Please note that all students must show documentation that they have had two doses of the Measles, two doses of the Mumps and two doses of the Rubella vaccine.

My Tetanus and Diptheria immunization is outdated, can I still register?

No. You will be unable to register without an up-to-date tetanus and diphtheria booster. The booster must be administered every 10 years. Students receiving their decennial booster must receive Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), or Td.

You can schedule an appointment with Student Health Services (703-993-2135) for your immunizations for a minimal fee. You can also receive immunization from your healthcare provider or local health department.

What is the Tuberculosis (TB) screening?

The Tuberculin (TB) screening is conducted through a questionnaire where the student identifies any possible risk factors for tuberculosis infection and disease. This is part of the Immunization Record Form and all students must submit the TB screening.

What is Tuberculin (TB) Testing?

Tuberculin (TB) testing is a procedure for diagnosis of Latent TB Infection. This test is performed by either a tuberculin skin test or a blood test (T-Spot or QuantiFeron).

How old can the TB test be?

If a tuberculin (TB) skin test is required for you, the test must be less than 6 months old from the first day of classes at Mason. A tuberculin skin test, a quantiferon blood test, or a t-spot test will be accepted to meet the requirement.

If you have documentation of a previous positive TB test, only provide documentation of history and a chest x-ray report. Provide documentation of medication if taken.

Can I do a Quantiferon test (QFT) instead of a tuberculin skin test?

Yes. A Quantiferon test (QFT) is acceptable instead of the tuberculin skin test. If you choose the blood test, please send a copy of the lab report with your immunization records.