Frequently Asked Questions

What is University Health Services (UHS)?

UHS is UMass Amherst’s fully accredited health center, offering comprehensive care and referrals with a special focus on the needs and concerns of students.

Who can use UHS?

UHS serves UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff, along with their spouses, domestic partners and dependents. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Department's Region 5 employees are eligible to use UHS, through a cooperative agreement. Ill or injured visitors can be seen at UHS on a fee-for-service basis.

When is UHS open?

Hours vary throughout the year; check the home page for our current schedule.

I need medical advice. What should I do?

Medical advice is available 24/7:

  • During UHS business hours, call 413-577-5229 and leave a message with your name and number to receive a return call from a nurse.
  • For after-hours medical advice, call 413-577-5000 to reach the UHS answering service.
  • For mental health emergencies, call 877-831-7421.
  • In a life-threatening emergency, always call 911 for transportation to a hospital.

What constitutes an emergency?

Review a list of signs of a medical emergency.

Do I need an appointment?

  • We recommend appointments for non-urgent needs.
  • For same-day acute needs, patients can be seen in our Walk-In Clinic without an appointment by joining the virtual waiting room. 
  • Advance appointments are best for routine care and minor problems. Call 413-577-5101. If you have a UHS primary care provider, great! If not, we'll match you with one that meets your needs and preferences.
  • Same-day appointments get you seen quickly, at a time that's best for you. Call 413-577-5101. These appointments fill up fast – call early in the morning. Hours are posted on the home page.
  • Telehealth appointments are available to address certain health concerns. Call 413-577-5101 to schedule.
  • Questions? Need help? Call 413-577-5229 to speak with a nurse 24/7.

Who’ll be taking care of me?

Our team includes board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, an optometrist, a nutritionist and certified medical assistants. Plus, specialists in areas such as acupuncture, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine have office hours at UHS.

What else does UHS have?

Our services include an eye care and optical center, women's health, nutrition, radiology, physical therapy, travel medicine and specialty clinics.

What about health insurance?

Massachusetts college students are required to have primary health insurance. Students with five or more credits are automatically enrolled into and billed for the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). If you’re already covered by other primary insurance, you must waive the SHBP before the end of the add/drop period. 

Bring your health insurance card with you each time you come to UHS. If you’re covered under your parents’ insurance, ask them for a copy of the card; you’ll receive an ID card if you purchase the SHBP.  

UMass Amherst charges graduate students a mandatory Student Health Fee. This isn’t insurance, but works together with your primary plan to provide access to UHS, support UHS services and absorb costs insurance doesn’t cover.

Do I need a referral?

Patients insured by a health maintenance organization (HMO) or point-of-service (POS) plan which requires a referral from their primary care provider (PCP) must obtain a referral for care at UHS. When scheduling an appointment, you'll be reminded of this requirement and asked to provide your PCP's name and address. To avoid the need to obtain a referral, consider switching your PCP designation to a UHS provider.

Who’ll know I was seen at UHS?

By law, all UHS visits and medical records are confidential. No information can be released, either verbally or in writing, unless you sign a consent form. UHS bills your primary insurance for services provided. Your insurance company will mail you a document called an Explanation of Benefits. Typically, this does not include treatment details. Bills for things that aren’t covered by insurance are mailed from UHS. Because this can include sensitive information, make sure the address UHS has on file is where you want such materials sent.

How do I get copies of my medical or immunization records?

Check out the release of information section of this website; you'll find everything you need to know!

How does UHS support students in managing chronic illness?

Students with chronic illness are encouraged to establish a relationship with one of our primary care providers (PCPs) soon after arriving at UMass. Your PCP will manage your care at UHS, and can coordinate your care with our own specialty providers, or refer you to area specialists as needed. To learn about our PCPs, explore our Provider Directory. Then, call 413-577-5101 to request an appointment.

UHS also has a full-service pharmacy on site where you can pick up prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. To transfer prescriptions to UHS Pharmacy, complete this form and bring it to UHS, or call the pharmacy at 413-577-5030 and give them your prescription information over the phone. You can also call the pharmacy for any questions about storage of medications: 413-577-5030.

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