Health Insurance

As of fall 2010, when you enroll at Temple University, you pay a University Services Fee each semester. This fee entitles you to use the services of Student Health Services.

The fee covers most of your routine and acute care visits. There are additional charges for point of care lab tests, medications, certain procedures and supplies. There are also charges for gynecology services that are not part of the Title X Family Planning Program.

The University Services Fee is not health insurance. Health insurance covers you for many of the services we do not provide. For example, if you need to go to the emergency room or see a specialist, you will need health insurance. Some insurance plans also have prescription coverage, which covers a portion of your medication costs.

Student Health Services does not charge you a copayment to see a healthcare provider. All of your visits are covered under the fee you pay in your tuition.

Point-of-care Testing

If you have point-of-care testing done such as a rapid strep test, mono test or flu test, we run those here in our office and give you the result. We cannot bill health insurance for these tests and there are charges associated with all point-of-care testing completed by Student Health Services. See more information about pricing.  

Laboratory Testing

If you need laboratory work done you can use your health insurance. Our labs are sent to Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, Oxford Lab and Temple University Hospital Lab. These laboratories will perform your tests, send Student Health your results and then bill your health insurance. If you have coinsurance or a deductible, you will receive a bill directly from the laboratory. If you have questions about your coinsurance or deductible, please call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.

If you need laboratory work done and you are uninsured, the physician or nurse that you are seeing will go over the cost of the laboratory work that you may need.


If you need medication and you have prescription coverage, your Student Health Services provider will send your prescription to the pharmacy of your choice. There are two Rite Aids located on Temple’s Main Campus, a CVS a few blocks off of Main Campus and SunRay Drugs.

If you need a medication and you are uninsured, or you do not want to use your health insurance due to confidentiality reasons, we have a dispensary in our office that has antibiotics, allergy medication and birth control. Your provider can go over the cost with you during your visit. We also have free packets of over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, decongestants, cold and allergy medications.

Health Insurance FAQ

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is a contract with an insurance company, which agrees to pay some or all of your medical bills based on your "coverage," or the terms of your policy. In exchange, the insurer is paid a set amount of money—a "premium"—on a regular basis. Most Americans have private health insurance, either through their employer's group plan or through buying their own individual policy. Others are covered under public "safety net" programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Why do I need health insurance?

It's no secret that healthcare is expensive today. The government says the cost to treat a broken leg can run $7,500 and an average three-day hospital stay can set you back $30,000. Without insurance, many Americans would be one health setback away from financial ruin. Regularly paying a set premium for health coverage assures that money will be available to defray the cost of everything from routine checkups to catastrophic medical bills.

What is an HMO?

HMO stands for health maintenance organization. With an HMO plan you must choose a primary care physician (PCP) from a network of local healthcare providers who will refer you to in-network specialists or hospitals when necessary. All of your care is coordinated through that PCP. Currently at this time Student Health Services is not contracted with insurance companies and we are not eligible to be your Primary Care Physician (PCP).

What is a PPO?

PPO stands for preferred provider organization. A PPO health insurance plan allows for more flexibility and more choices when it comes to your healthcare. A PPO plan offers a network of healthcare providers to choose from, and you have the freedom to receive care from any in or out of network doctor, specialist or hospital without a referral—even when you travel. Keep in mind, however, that your out of pocket medical costs are lower when you choose an in-network provider. This means you can schedule a specialist visit without needing referral.

What's the difference between a deductible, a copayment and coinsurance?

All three are medical charges you must pay out of your own pocket, even if you have insurance. Your deductible is the initial amount you must pay each year for covered health services before your insurer will start to chip in. Plans may have separate individual and family deductibles and/or deductibles for separate services such as hospitalization. A copayment is a fixed amount you pay toward each medical service, such as $25 for a checkup. Coinsurance is a fixed percentage, rather than a flat amount, that you pay toward each service.

I can't afford to buy health insurance. What should I do?

Depending on your income, you may be eligible for lower-cost, subsidized coverage purchased through state health insurance exchanges. Or, you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, aka CHIP. Please visit the PA Department of Human Services website.

Health Insurance Options

Your parent's health insurance plan

Some students are covered under their parents’ insurance plan as long as they are full-time students under the age of 26.  You should encourage your parents to keep you on their plan, even if they ask you to contribute to the expense. 

If you are not from Philadelphia, you should check with your insurance company to see if they would cover medical expenses incurred in the Philadelphia area. 

You should ask for a copy of your insurance card so that you can show it when you go for care.

University-sponsored health insurance plans

Temple offers university-sponsored health insurance plans. Please visit Human Resources or call 215-926-2270 for more information. 

If you choose an HMO plan, you can still see Student Health Services for routine care. However, you will also need to choose a non-Student Health Services primary care provider (PCP). This provider will need to approve any specialist, lab work or X-ray referrals in order for your insurance to pay the associated costs.

Low-cost insurance plans

If you cannot afford the student insurance offered by Temple University, there are other programs that provide low-cost insurance coverage to uninsured or unemployed people. 

Some community resources can help you understand what you may be eligible for, including the following.