Student insurance at SHAC

Portland State requires every student taking five or more credits to enroll in a valid health insurance plan. PSU provides a student insurance plan for students through Aetna Student Health. Students who choose to opt out of this plan must submit a waiver to the university which proves comparable health insurance coverage through an outside source.

The minimum requirement for comparable insurance is a $2500 or less deductible, and 80 percent inpatient hospitalization coverage.

For instance, eligible students can choose to be covered by Oregon Health Plan instead of paying into the Aetna Student Health Plan. The Aetna plan currently costs $2,082 for twelve months of coverage.

PSU’s Center for Student Health and Counseling provides a myriad of services for students, even without enrolling in the Aetna health insurance plan. Each student pays a $119 health fee every term, which makes them eligible for health, counseling, and dental services that aren’t exclusive to Aetna members. Students who pay for Aetna insurance also pay the $119 health fee.

Most of SHAC’s services are fully covered by the student health fee, but some require extra payments from students who don’t have PSU’s insurance plan. For instance, immunizations cost $18-$175, but are free for students with Aetna insurance.

Any student can walk into SHAC’s lobby and pick up condoms, dental dams, lubricants, bandaids, and cough drops at no cost.

So, what specific SHAC services are covered by students’ $2000 Aetna health insurance payment?

SHAC Services fully covered by PSU Insurance Plan

First, Aetna-enrolled students can see a doctor at no cost to them. This includes coverage of most lab work and x-ray services. If students receive prescriptions from SHAC doctors, they can fill their prescriptions at SHAC at discounted rates.

Students can also access wellness exams, urgent care services, immunizations, pap smears, STI screenings, contraception information and prescriptions, tobacco and nutrition counseling, injection and skin tests, and durable medical equipment, according to SHAC’s website.

SHAC provides acupuncture in group and individual sessions. Acupuncture is fully covered for Aetna-insured students. Students without this insurance can access acupuncture services for $15 group sessions and $60 individual appointments. SHAC’s website lists symptomatic relief through acupuncture for health issues such as fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, low back pain, menstrual cramps, dental pain, and tennis elbow.

IUD insertion is provided at no cost to insurance members, while it can cost up to $1135 without insurance. The student health fee covers pregnancy testing, condoms and dental dams, emergency contraception, and rapid HIV testing, regardless of insurance coverage.

SHAC’s counseling services include career and learning disability and ADHD assessment. Career assessment includes consultation, initial interviews, career testing, interpretation, and individual planning for career goals. LD and ADHD assessments are provided so students may access learning accommodations through PSU’s Disability Resource Center. These services are free with insurance. Without insurance, Career assessment costs $62-$108, and learning disability assessment costs $500.

SHAC also provides medical and personal resources for Transgender health, including transgender therapy, counseling, and hormone therapy. SHAC employs a Transgender Health Advocate who walks students through resources, medical information, and assistance in the Portland and PSU communities.

Student insurance covers up to 80 percent of transgender-related surgeries. To access this coverage, students must submit two letters of recommendation—one from a counselor, and one from a primary care doctor or a second counselor. SHAC does not directly provide surgeries, but connects students with resources within the Aetna Student Health network.

For students who do not have Aetna membership, SHAC services may be covered by outside agencies. After services, such as lab work, are carried out of SHAC, the student must print out a receipt of service and submit it to their insurance company for reimbursement. By doing so, students can access SHAC without unnecessary spending.

Students enrolled in Health Maintenance Organizations like OHP should discuss insurance and billing options with their insurance providers before utilizing SHAC’s insurance or fee-based services. Many of these services may not be covered and will be billed to the student’s PSU account if rendered without proper coverage.

More information about SHAC and student health insurance can be found at Information about non-PSU insurance options is available at