By William Butler
The other day, a friend on Facebook posted a status asking if anyone knew what to do if bitten by a spider. When moved into my first apartment, I had a similar concern and did a bit of research on the topic. I informed him that most sources say to treat it like a regular wound unless you experience symptoms. He said he felt back pain and I told him he should go to a clinic or hospital. In a college town, these sort of random medical concerns are common and often people don’t really know where to start. To address this, I’ve created a list on healthcare basics to help get a college student going in East Orlando.
1) Health Insurance: Most students feel that, unless they’ve completed the prerequisite credit of Calc 3, that health insurance is too abstract a concept for them to understand. I know I didn’t until I started working in insurance processing and referrals. Basically, you (or your parent) pay into insurance each month. Every plan is different but generally you agree to pay out of pocket up until a certain point (called a deductible). After this deductible has been met, your insurance will cover a certain percentage of all medical costs. This percentage usually ranges from 80-100%. Some insurances also require copays for each office visit. If you are looking to buy insurance, there are a lot of different student insurance plans and a Google search will help you compare prices. You can also speak to an insurance representative and create a plan that works best for you (mental health benefits, reproductive health benefits, dental benefits, etc.)
2) Health Services for Students: For UCF students seeking non-emergency care, the UCF Health Center is perhaps the most logical choice. If you are taking more than one class at the Orlando main campus, unlimited office visits are included in your tuition and so you do not need to pay for consultations. Psychiatric services are also available to UCF students with appropriate referrals. They also participate with certain insurances for additional services ranging from diagnostic imaging to dental care.
3) Health Services for the Community: For urgent care visits, University Centra Care is a good option. Centra Care advertises that it is “an affordable alternative to the emergency room for urgent, non-life-threatening medical care.” They accept most insurances and their services range from primary care office visits to orthopedic medicine. They are open seven days a week, and certain locations are open until midnight.
4) Local Hospitals: Florida Hospital East Orlando is the closest hospital for east Orlando. Their services are extensive covering a wide range of specialties. They house a cancer institute, emergency room, reproductive health, and ear, nose and throat specialists. Although they provide inpatient services, appointments can also be made to see specialists. They accept most insurance, although most insurances have special pricing for hospital visits. For non-emergency medicine, it would be a good idea to contact your insurance before scheduling an appointment to get some ideas of what they will cover.
This brief overview should give you some idea of what is available in the East Orlando area for UCF students. Below are the hours and contact information of each resource described:
Compare Student Health Insurance:
UCF Health Center
4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816
University Centra Care
11550 University Blvd. Orlando, FL 32817
Florida Hospital East Orlando
7727 Lake Underhill Rd. Orlando, FL 32822
William Butler is a psychology and pre-medical student at the University of Central Florida. He works as a receptionist for UCF Health Services at the College of Medicine in Lake Nona, Fl. He also volunteers for the MIT-2 lab, IMAlive suicide hotline, and UCF Counseling and Psychological Services Student Advisory Council. He is interested in neuroscience, music, and spending time with his friends and family. Despite his wide range of interests, William is NOT a medical or mental health professional and all attitudes expressed are opinions and are not intended to be used as medical advice.