Join Columbia Health?

Originally Published: February 24, 1995 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: August 24, 2012
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Dear Alice,

I really wanted to find out how I can "join" the campus health services for stuff like regular gyn exams, routine health checkups, etc., etc.


Dear Outsider,

Welcome to Columbia! There is no need to "join," if you're a student at CU, Columbia Health is here for you!

All full-time students are automatically billed for and enrolled in the Columbia Health Program, which gives you access to on-campus health programs and services. You will see the Columbia Health Program Fee appear each semester on your Ebill. Part-time students may choose to enroll in the Columbia Health Program as well, although enrollment is not automatically done for them.

Some of the on-campus services and programs you may access through Columbia Health include:

  • Medical Services, which provides comprehensive primary care, women's health care, and urgent care services.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services, which offers short-term counseling for Columbia students, as well as support groups, prescription managment, short-term couples counseling, and referrals for continuing mental health care.
  • Alice! Health Promotion, which seeks to make the campus healthier by connecting students with information and resources, cultivating healthy attitudes and behaviors, and fostering a culture that values and supports a healthy community.
  • Disability Services, which empowers students with disabilities to realize their academic and personal potential by facilitating equal access and coordinating reasonable accommodations and support services for eligible students.
  • Sexual Violence Response, which provides comprehensive and integrated education, support, and advocacy about sexual and relationship violence.

In regards to your specific questions, you can schedule medical appointments, including annual exams for women, at Medical Services; call x4-2284 or go online to Open Communicator to make an appointment. For mental health care at Counseling and Psychological Services, you can call x2-2878 for an appointment.

Columbia also requires all students to carry adequate insurance coverage (which would cover costs associated with any health care you receive off-campus, such as emergency care, prescriptions, specialist provider visits, surgery, etc.). For this reason full-time and residential students are also automatically enrolled in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan. One important note: You must get a referral before visiting an off-campus health care provider, otherwise the Columbia plan will not reimburse you for your costs. You can receive a referral by visiting Medical Services or Counseling and Psychological Services, depending on your specific needs. The only exception is in emergencies; in a true emergency you do not need a referral to visit your nearest emergency room.

Good luck staying healthy!