Health services at Murray State no longer free starting this fall

MURRAY, KY — As you send your college student off to school this week and next, you may want to pack some extra cash with them. Murray State University students will have to pay more this year.

We’ve told you about the 3 percent tuition increase, and parking costs are going up. Health services on Murray’s campus are also changing.

Fast Pace Connect Urgent Care will be providing those services on campus now. Fast Pace will also provide virtual appointments through students’ phones or computers if they can’t make it into the clinic.

But, with the change in services comes a change in price.

Christopher Baker is a senior with just one semester left at Murray State. “For people like me who have gone here for a while, it’s even worse, because we’ve sat through increases and increases,” Baker said.

“I still owe a lot of money to the school just to be able to come even after all the help I’m getting.” Baker said. He has scholarships, but he still pays about $1,000 out of pocket each semester. He said college costs add up quickly.

Starting this semester, visiting the formerly free on-campus clinic will cost students. “About a week or two ago, I got an email saying they are going to have health care on the campus, but it would be going through Fast Pace urgent care,” Baker said.

Fast Pace is a chain of urgent care clinics with locations all over the Local 6 area, including one already in Murray. Students can find health services on campus in the same place as last year. But the difference is students will have to pay a flat fee or have their health insurance pay for their care. Fast Pace’s flat fee is $85.

I was not able to get inside to see the clinic on Wednesday. A university spokesperson said the clinic is still being finished, and staff aren’t available to talk yet.

Baker told us it’s a clinic for simple illnesses — not for X-rays or emergencies — but it was a free and convenient way to be seen by a nurse.

“If you have something more serious than the flu or something like that, why wouldn’t you go to something like primary care?” Baker said. Now that he would have to pay, he doesn’t see the point in going there. It’s just one more bill before he can get his degree.

The clinic will be open Monday through Friday. Students must bring their student ID and insurance card to be seen.

You can find out more information about this story and others by following Leah Shields on Facebook and Twitter.

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