U-M: Reinstate STI Screenings in UHS Coverage

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Recently, the University of Michigan Health Service decided to remove STI screenings from student UHS coverage, which is paid through tuition.

Instead, it will be billed through insurance, which will drastically limit access to students who don’t have insurance, and to students who cannot have STI testing billed to their parents’ insurance for them to see.

UHS chief Robert Ernst has suggested that if students are concerned about confidentiality, they can pay $1700 a year for private insurance to be separate from their parents — a solution that is inaccessible and unfeasible for many.

History shows us that when STI services are cut, STI rates skyrocket. For an institution that has its own School of Public Health, this decision ironically aligns the University of Michigan with regressive forces attacking public health in this country.

This decision will disproportionately affect low income students, who will also have the hardest time getting access to medical care when their preventable STIs develop into much more serious (and costly) medical conditions. This does not "save" costs, it dramatically increases them — those costs are simply transferred to our most vulnerable and marginalized students.

To be clear: this is not only a health issue. It is a socioeconomic justice issue, a queer issue, and a racial justice issue, because these groups are historically left at the margins in this kind of healthcare.

Stand up for Michigan students and join our demand that STI screenings be immediately reinstated in UHS coverage.

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