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Contact InformationOffice of Student Life
1411 Ellis Avenue
2nd Floor Ponzio Campus Center
Ashland, WI 54806
Student Health Insurance Policy and FAQs.
All Northland College students who are enrolled in 8 or more credits are required to have a health insurance policy that allows the student access to both preventative and emergency services in the Ashland, WI area. Students who have a personal policy that meets the waiver criteria must submit proof (via the on-line Health Insurance Waiver submission) that their plan covers up to $100,000 per year for qualified medical expenses. Students’ insurance plans should cover routine visits with a physician, emergency care, and mental health care (inpatient and outpatient visits). Covered services should be available within about 75 miles of campus. This insurance plan should be in effect at least from August 1st until July 31st for students enrolling at Northland College for the traditional academic year. The deductible on this insurance should be less than $1500 (the approximate price of the plan offered through the college). Students who do not have a plan that meets these qualifications will be automatically enrolled and billed for the plan offered through Northland College (details below).
Please note that students participating in college athletics must have $90,000 worth of insurance coverage that specifically covers injuries sustained in the course of practice/play of their sport(s). The student health insurance plan offered through the college DOES NOT cover injuries sustained in practice/play of college sports.
Northland College (along with other institutions of higher learning in a group called the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities – WAICU) offers a student health insurance plan through a company called WPS that provides up to $100,000 per year coverage with $750 per year of prescription medication coverage. Please see the Student Health Insurance Brochure (PDF) for information about the WPS student health insurance plan.
FAQs and tips - Insurance and Health Care in the Ashland Area
We urge you to contact your insurance company and find out what level of coverage your student has in the Ashland, WI area. We have found that some plans or HMOs cover care in the southern part of the state, but not in the north. Some plans only cover urgent care visits, have high deductibles, or require immediate co-pays – all of which can cause students to be reluctant to use their health insurance or to see a provider here. While you are speaking with an insurance representative, find out if there is a preferred clinic, dentist, therapist, or other provider(s) in this area. Some plans will work with you to place your student in a different HMO or to give your student “guest status” that allows him/her to receive care in this area.
Give your student a copy of his/her insurance card, along with any prescription cards or other materials she/he may need to access health care. If you have found that your plan favors a clinic, provider, or pharmacy, laminate a list of those places and their phone numbers for your student’s wallet. Also, be sure that your student knows who in the household “carries” the plan (through whose workplace, etc.). Your student will need to know that person’s birth date – more info to go on that laminated list. Northland College Health Services is happy to help students make the decision to see a doctor and to help set up appointments – but it is helpful (and cheaper) to have those insurance details worked out in advance.
If you, as a parent, are expecting to cover the cost of co-pays for doctor’s visits, be sure your student puts your home address on the registration form so the bill goes to you.
Why do students have to show proof of insurance/why must they have insurance?
Students who do not have health insurance are at risk of serious health and financial consequences in the event of an illness or injury. Often students who do not have health insurance (or who have inadequate insurance) avoid seeking care for an illness or injury, which can lead to missed classes, longer healing time, or more serious symptoms of the ailment due to delays in seeking care. With rising medical costs, even a relatively minor concern can cost hundreds of dollars to diagnose and treat. We feel it is important for our students to have ready access to appropriate medical care, in this area, when they need it.
Why must students have coverage within the vicinity of Ashland and surrounding counties (approximately 75 miles)?
Students who are ill enough to need a doctor’s care are often too ill to drive home for that care. It isn’t safe to have students transporting themselves hours away to be treated for a serious condition. If the student needs follow up care or ongoing services, it is least disruptive to his/her studies to take care of that in the Ashland area. Students who only have access to urgent care/ER services in the Ashland area may have to pay out of pocket for medications, follow-up visits, and outpatient therapy appointments.
While the policy states that care must be available within 75 miles, please consider whether it is practical to depend on your student being able to drive 75 miles each time he/she needs to see a doctor or therapist for an illness or injury.
Why must our deductible be less than $1500?
For academic year 2013-2014, the premium for the WPS insurance offered through Northland College is $1489.20.
What if our insurance plan changes mid-way through the year?
If your insurance policy change is minor (new member number or the card is reissued each year in January; change in insurance carrier but no change in benefits), send your student a copy of the new card. High-quality photocopies of both sides of the new card will work – laminated if possible.
If your student loses insurance coverage mid-way through the year, your family will need to make arrangements to ensure that your student has adequate coverage. If you are interested in joining the WPS plan midway through the year, please contact the Northland College Business Office at 715-682-1239 to see if that is possible. There are enrollment periods beginning in August and in January.
How often must we complete the waiver if we wish to waive the Northland College/WPS plan?
The waiver must be completed yearly by August 1st. The waiver becomes available on-line each spring. As stated above, we recommend you check with your insurance company each year before completing the waiver to be certain that you have adequate coverage in the Ashland area.
What are the local clinics in the Ashland area? Are there any hospitals in Ashland?
There are three main medical clinics in the City of Ashland. Students may choose to establish care at any of these clinics. Again, if you and your student have picked a particular clinic, please make sure your student is aware of this when it comes time to make an appointment.
Main Street Clinic, 1001 West Main Street, Ashland, WI 54806. Phone: 715-682-5601
Main Street Clinic works closely with the college and visits campus one afternoon per week to see students for appointments ranging from athletic injuries to medication management to symptom diagnosis to routine physicals (and quite a bit in between). Most visits and services with Main Street Clinic physicians (both here on campus and at the clinic in town) are covered at 100% by the WPS health insurance plan available through the college.
- St. Luke’s Chequamegon Clinic, 415 Ellis Avenue, Ashland, WI 54806. Phone: 715-685-6600
Essentia Health – Ashland Clinic, 1625 Maple Lane, Ashland, WI, 54806. Phone: 715-685-7500
St.Luke’s Chequamegon Clinic and Essentia Health - Ashland Clinic are both affiliated with clinics centered in Duluth, MN. Because of this connection, students from Minnesota sometimes find that their Minnesota-based insurance will cover services provided at these clinics. Please check with your insurance company to determine if this is the case. These clinics also have visiting specialists, which might be a consideration if your student needs regular specialty care.
Physicians at each of these clinics have privileges at the local hospital, Memorial Medical Center. MMC is located at 1615 Maple Lane, Ashland, WI 54806. MMC has a walk-in clinic which is open from 10am to 10pm daily. It also has a 24 hour Emergency Department.
- Ashland Health Care Clinic – offers affordable reproductive health care to both men and women in Northern WI. The clinic offers routine gynecologic exams, Pap smears, breast and pelvic exams, pregnancy testing, and STD exams and treatment, as well as information about and access to various means of contraception. 313 3rd Street West, Ashland, WI. Phone 715-682-9596.
Who can I talk to if I have questions about insurance waiver approval?
Contact the Northland College Business Office at 715-682-1352.
Who can I talk to if I have questions about the WPS insurance plan through the college?
Call WPS (Wisconsin Physician Service) Insurance at 1-800-221-5573 or visit http://www.wpsic.com/waicu/
Who can I talk to if I am worried about my student’s health or have questions about local providers, services, etc.?
Northland College Health Services is staffed by a registered nurse, Autumn Kelley. She works weekdays from 8:00am to 4:30 pm during the academic year. Feel free to email email@example.com or call 715-682-1340. Email and voicemail are checked weekly during the summer and other college breaks.
If you are concerned that your student needs care urgently during non-business hours, contact Northland College Campus Safety at 715-682-1399.
Bear in mind that while you are free to give information about your student’s health situation or your concerns, the information that your student has shared with us is protected by federal privacy laws, so we may not be able to share information with you. If your student wants assistance in updating you about a condition, we can certainly arrange that. Also, remember that your student is an adult, and as such, has the right to decide if he/she will seek care for a condition (with few exceptions).
Can my student use his/her WPS insurance policy while back at home or in other areas?
Probably – be sure to check for in-network providers. The easiest way to check is to search the provider list on-line. Go to www.wpsic.com/waicu/ and click on “Find a doctor.”
Do I have to visit Main Street Clinic physicians if I enroll in WPS through the college?
No. Main Street Clinic would be the most cost-effective option, but if you prefer to work with another provider in town, you certainly can. See the WPS website for coverage details. Non-Main Street Clinic providers are either Tier 2 or Tier 3.
A word about athletic insurance: College athletes are required by the NCAA to have $90,000 worth of insurance coverage for athletic injuries. Athletes must also meet the same basic insurance coverage criteria as other students in order to waive the WPS plan – deductible less than $1500, coverage within 75 miles of campus, and $100,000 worth of coverage per year including routine visits, etc. The WPS plan available through the college DOES NOT cover care for injuries sustained during participation in college athletics. Some families already carry plans that meet those requirements. Some families find that their existing plan meets the athletic insurance requirement, but not the 75 –mile requirement or the deductible requirement…. This is something that each family will need to look at carefully. When deciding what plan/combination of plans to go with, please consider whether there is coverage for emergency care in this area, and for follow-up visits and/or physical therapy in this area.
Does Northland College benefit monetarily from having students purchase the WPS insurance through the college? No, Northland does not “get a share” of the money paid for the student health insurance. It is a service offered by WAICU and Northland College to allow students to access the best possible pricing for insurance for college students (a typically healthy population). Northland does not receive any monetary benefit from student enrollment or participation in the plan.