As the situation around COVID-19 continues to impact our student community, we want to assure you that USC Student Health will continue to provide care—even expanding access through TeleHealth—during this time.
Please see the medical FAQs for information about COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you are sick. USC provides numerous mental health resources for students. Students can call with care questions 24/7; dial 213-740-9355 (WELL).
- 4/29: USC Student Health is conducting a study to estimate the percentage of USC students who have developed antibodies (a marker of exposure) to the virus that causes COVID-19; see FAQs below
- 4/17: Updates regarding USC Student Health summer operations, mental health resources and important information for graduating students
- 3/20: Operational update regarding TeleHealth, the process for in-person illness/injury care and the temporary closure of the Eric Cohen facility
FAQs: USC Student Health’s Seroprevalence Study
Note: Data collection concluded on May 8, 2020.
USC Student Health is conducting a study to estimate the percentage of USC students who have developed antibodies (a marker of exposure) to the virus that causes COVID-19. This study may help us learn more about infection rates of COVID-19 on the USC campus and among USC students and help the university prepare for the physical reopening of the University Park Campus.
A randomized sample of USC students across undergraduate and graduate populations were contacted to participate in the study. The pre-selected sample group was based on recruiting a pool that closely represents the demographics of the campus-based student population overall.
Currently, the science of antibody testing is in development. It is not yet clear if and what level of antibodies provide protection against future infections with COVID-19. It is also not known if every person infected with COVID-19 produces antibodies. Until these questions are answered, antibody testing is best used to estimate the previous prevalence of exposure to the virus in a population rather than to guide individual health decisions. As the science of antibody testing develops, it may be possible that antibody testing becomes an important part of the overall public health strategy.
Data collection for this study concluded on May 8, 2020.
The study aimed to test 600-800 individuals.
The study was not open to self-selection.
Health Care and Coverage
COVID-19-Related Costs and Coverage for USC Students
There are no individual payment costs for COVID-19 testing. Tests may be conducted for clinical diagnosis (your health provider would do a screening and potentially recommend PCR nasal swab testing) or public health purposes (PCR nasal swab or blood test for antibodies).
COVID-19-Related Hospitalization Coverage: USC Student Health Plan (Provided via Aetna Insurance)
As of April 6, 2020, Aetna lnsurance liberalized its existing policy, waiving cost-sharing for in-patient treatment of COVID-19 (hospitalization) in Tiers 1 and 2 in-network facilities.
The effective date of waiving the cost sharing for all in-patient admissions at out-of-network facilities is March 25, 2020 and continues through June 1, 2020.
All claims received for Aetna-insured members going forward will be processed based on this new policy. If in-patient treatment was required for a member with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis prior to this announcement, it will be processed in accordance with this new policy. In the event a claim has already been processed prior to this policy going into effect, members should contact customer service so the claim can be reprocessed accordingly.
For any students who need medical attention while overseas, the Aetna plan offers hospital care in foreign facilities. The standard process will apply – the student will pay the facility/provider and submit for reimbursement. The new liberalized policy regarding foreign claims will then be applicable, and the claim will be processed at the in-network benefit level (for USC, that is 80% vs. 50% for out-of-network benefits).
Summer Health Care via USC Student Health
During the summer, Student Health services will continue to be in operation for all of our services, including all of the TeleHealth care that was recently launched — primary care, injury/illness care, mental health services, and continuing public health monitoring, prevention and care for COVID-19 patients.
For continuing students, USC Student Health (counseling, mental health services and medical services) can continue to be your provider from May 23 through Aug. 14, 2020. Sign up for summer coverage. Students residing in California who are enrolled in summer courses are automatically charged the summer health fee. The 2020 summer health fee is $180 and includes access to all services.
All matriculated students are eligible to sign up whether or not they are taking classes this summer. Students residing near campus are especially encouraged to sign up; all students in California can receive care from our medical and counseling providers. For additional information, contact USC Student Health at 213-740-9355 (WELL) or email email@example.com.
Class of 2020 graduates should note important reminders about medical records, health insurance and eligibility for services.
Students who currently have the USC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) that’s provided through Aetna are covered through August 2020.
Class of 2020 Graduates: If you enrolled in SHIP for the spring 2020 semester, your insurance coverage will end on Aug. 18, 2020. We recommend beginning to look for a new health insurance plan at least six weeks prior (the end of June/beginning of July) to avoid any lapses in coverage. Aetna Student Health can provide proof of coverage (termination letter) by calling (877) 626-2299. California residents can find insurance options through state exchanges on coveredca.com.
Questions about TeleHealth?
Dr. Sarah Van Orman, Chief Health Officer and Associate Vice Provost for Campus Health, and Dr. Broderick Leaks, Director of Counseling and Mental Health Services, conduct a question and answer session about accessing care and staying well in the era of social distancing.