Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Library

General FAQ

Why do I pay a “Health Fee” and what does it cover? What is not covered?

Every student at KU pays a health fee each semester as part of the mandatory campus fees. It is not optional. The health fee entitles the student to be seen by our providers at no charge for the office visit including no co-pay. However, if the provider orders lab tests, X-rays, medications, Athletic Training services or performs procedures (e.g. a mole removal) or performs extensive physical exams (e.g. for the Peace Corp), there are charges for those services. Students receive a reduced rate for those charges which are very often well below the local market. If you have questions about charges for specific services, please call our Business Office at 785-864-9520. The health fee itself does NOT constitute any type of healthcare insurance. Insurance coverage is a separate matter. Please refer to our Business and Insurance Office page for those details.Additional information about how the Health Fee is assessed can be found on the Business and Insurance Office page.

What if I have a scheduled appointment on a day when inclement weather is declared and campus closes?

If the university issues an alert that campus is closed due to inclement weather, Watkins Health Services typically remains open for business, but with reduced staffing and services. Students with scheduled appointments should call our appointment line at 785-864-9507  to inquire, cancel or reschedule. Alternatively, certain types of appointments can be rescheduled through your patient portal.

What immunizations must I have to attend KU? What medical documentation is expected of me?

Please refer to our Policy Compliance page for these details. If any questions remain, please call our Immunization Compliance Office at 785-864-9533.

Yes, you may. Please follow these instructions:
  • 72 hours after you have enrolled in classes at KU, log into Watkins Health Services patient portal using your online KU ID and password.
  • Click on the “Health History” tab to enter all known allergies, medications, personal and family medical history, hospitalizations and/or surgeries. After providing your health history information, click the “Done” button toward the bottom of the screen.

Two other forms may be completed within your portal:

Notice of Privacy Practices - Under the "Medical Clearances" tab, select "Privacy Practices." After reading this page, check the “Acknowledge and Consent” box and then click the "Submit Final" button. This privacy notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.

Treatment Agreement - Under the "Medical Clearances" tab, select "Treatment Agreement." After reading this page, check the “Acknowledge & Consent” box and then click the "Submit Final" button. This form allows the patient to consent to treatment and acknowledge financial responsibility.

Who is eligible for care at Watkins Health Services?

Please refer to our Eligibility for Services information for details. If any questions remain, please call our Business and Insurance Office at 785-864-9520.

Are appointments required to be seen?

Appointments are always preferred but are not required. Please refer to our Appointments page for more information. If any questions remain, please call our Registration & Records Office at 785-864-9507. If you would like to speak with a nurse regarding your symptoms, recommendations for care and whether or not an appointment is preferred, please call our 24-Hour Nurse Helpline at 785-864-9583.

Does the university provide health insurance?

The Kansas Board of Regents in cooperation with the universities in Kansas, sponsors a voluntary health insurance plan designed specifically for students. UnitedHealthcare StudentResources is the carrier for this plan, which is fully compliant with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The plan offers comprehensive benefits for a premium which may be considerably less than students may find in other commercial plans.

Is my insurance accepted by the health center?

A list of insurance plans where Watkins Health Services (WHS) is a contracted, in-network provider can be found on our Business and Insurance Office page. However, any plans should be reviewed for any ‘prior authorization’ or ‘referral’ requirements from the carrier. If WHS is in-network or out-of-network with insurance carriers, benefit coverage may vary depending on the plan. Provided with the appropriate information on an initial visit, WHS can file claims with insurance carriers, with the exception of Medicare, Medicaid, or HealthWave as WHS is not a participating provider with these plans. Charges not covered by insurance plans are the student’s responsibility for payment.

How can I get a “Hold” lifted when it blocks my enrollment for next semester?

There are several holds managed by Watkins Health Services and they have different requirements. Please refer to the Holds section of our Policy Compliance page. If any questions remain, please call 785-864-9533 for IMM (Immunization), TBQ (Tuberculosis Screening), and ALC (Mandatory Alcohol Education) holds or 785-864-9520 for NPY (Non-Payment of Money Owed) billing holds.

What if I have a complaint about the care I received? What if it is a complaint about your staff or the facility?

Please contact our Administration at 785-864-9525, or by email at

We want to hear your opinion and will work to resolve your concerns to the best of our ability. Feedback is essential for us to improve our services and provide the best possible healthcare.

What kind of medical kit should I bring to campus?

First Aid Supplies

  • Bandages for small wounds and blisters
  • Gauze and tape for larger wounds
  • ACE wrap for minor sprains
  • Ice pack
  • Heating pad
  • Digital thermometer
  • Antibacterial cream or ointment like Neosporin
  • Anti-inflammatory cream like Cortaid (for some rashes and bug bites)
  • Antibacterial cleanser to clean wounds

Over-the Counter Medications (which can also be obtained from Watkins Pharmacy)

  • Antihistamine such as Benadryl©, Zyrtec©, Claritin©, Allegra©
  • Antacid such as Tums© or Mylanta©
  • Acid reducer such as Zantac© or Pepcid©
  • Anti-diarrhea medication like Imodium AD©
  • Fever reducer / pain reducer containing acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen
  • Nasal decongestant such as Mucinex©, saline spray, or nasal rinse

Cough suppressant like Robitussin© or Delsym©

Are radiology studies reviewed by trained physicians?

Yes. All studies are reviewed by board-certified radiologists.

Can I get a copy of my radiology studies?

Yes. You may obtain a CD of your studies. There is a fee for this service. Please contact our Radiology department.

What do I do if I receive a parking ticket while receiving services at Watkins Health Center?

Take the ticket to the department where you received services within Watkins Health Center. A staff member will verify that you have a valid parking permission (noted on the ticket) and had business within Watkins Health Center no more than two hours before the time of issue as listed on the ticket. If these conditions are met, the staff person will take the ticket and complete the process to have it voided. If these conditions are not met, the ticket remains your responsibility to pay at KU Parking & Transit per the instructions on the ticket. If you only receive an electronic version of the parking ticket, forward the email to  A WHS staff member will verify the same information as outlined above and then forward the email to KU Parking & Transit. Cancellations for tickets received while at a Watkins appointment can take 10-14 business days.


Business Office & Insurance FAQ

What is the health fee and why do I have to pay it?

The health fee is a per semester fee that is charged to every student taking classes on the Lawrence KU Campus. Typically, if you are taking 6 or more on-campus hours (5 or more in the summer) the health fee is part of your required campus fees. If you are taking less than 6 hours, or some of your courses are online, you were only charged a fraction of the required campus fees. To see a provider at Watkins, including in CAPS, you must pay the remaining portion of your health fee. This will be charged to your Watkins account rather than your tuition. The health fees allow students to see Watkins’s providers as often as needed without an additional fee in most cases. If your tuition is paid by the university, scholarships, grants, or by other means, you will still have to pay this fee through Watkins.

I have UnitedHealthcare StudentResources. Do I still need to pay the Health Fee?

Yes, you still have to pay the health fee even if you have the UnitedHealthcare StudentResources. We also cannot charge the health fee to insurance of any kind as it is not a health service, but rather a part of your required campus fees.

Are all services at Watkins free to students?

No, not all services at Watkins are free. The only thing that is free are the face-to-face appointments with our providers. All procedures, x-ray, labs, injections, prescriptions, etc. will come with a charge, but at a much lower rate than you would be charged elsewhere.

Can you bill my insurance? Will my insurance pay for the services?

We can bill most major insurances. However, this does not guarantee that the insurance company will consider us “in-network” and does not guarantee payment for a service. Payment for a service is dependent on many different things: your specific plan, the reason for the service, circumstances surrounding your visit, other things done at the time of service, etc. This is up to your insurance company to review and decide if they are going to pay. We cannot tell you if your insurance company will cover a specific service. You will need to call the insurance company and discuss your coverage with them.

Do you accept Medicaid?

No. We are not contracted with Medicaid. You can still be seen by providers at Watkins at no cost if your health fee has been paid. However, if any other services such as labs, injections, prescriptions are needed, you will have to work with staff to be referred elsewhere in the community or pay for those services to be done at Watkins. Watkins staff must be aware that you have Medicaid prior to your appointment. If we are not informed, you will be financially responsible for any services received.

I am still on my parents’ insurance, and I am receiving a service that I want to keep private. Can I bill it to my insurance without my parents knowing?

Unfortunately, no. If we bill something to your insurance where the parent is the policy holder, they will have the ability to see the charge. We do offer a “Private Billing” option though. Just request “Private Billing” at the time of service. The staff member helping you will direct you to the Business Office. You will have to complete a “Financial Responsibility” form and you will need to pay for the services at that time. If the service is not paid for the same day, we cannot guarantee that it will be billed privately. If a parent calls and asks about a service that was done, we will not tell them anything about the service as most students are considered legal adults.

I need to get some lab work done; how much will it cost? Will my insurance pay for it?

We cannot tell you if your insurance will cover a specific service. Payment by insurance is never guaranteed. We can tell you what the price would be without insurance/the price that will be billed to insurance. The Business Office can provide you with pricing for specific lab tests. If the insurance does not pay, that price is the amount you would be responsible for.

Does KU offer insurance for students? How do I apply for it?

The University of Kansas has a contract with UnitedHealthcare to offer reasonably priced insurance to our students. It is not required for students to have health insurance while at KU, but it is highly recommended. This contract with UnitedHealthcare allows you to receive services at Watkins, without having to pay your deductible first. Each school year there are three open enrollment periods in which you would be able to sign up for the insurance. It usually opens the month before the semester starts and closes at the end of the month when the semester starts (i.e., fall enrollment would be July-August). If you do not apply for the insurance within these enrollment periods, you will not be able to get coverage. The exception to this would be a life qualifying event; birth/adoption of a child, loss of previous coverage in the last 30 days, marriage, etc. If you are applying due to a life qualifying event, you need to come to the Business Office to apply. If you want to apply for insurance during the open enrollment period, you can do this online. Not all students qualify for student insurance. Eligibility will be determined by UnitedHealthcare and your enrollment with the University.

How will I get billed for services?

At Watkins, we bill through “cycles.” When you receive a service, it takes about a week for the bill to be approved. It must first be double checked by the provider and our medical coder. From there, if you do not have insurance, the cycle begins. If you do have insurance, the cycle does not begin until we receive information back from your insurance company. From the time the cycle begins you have 60 days to pay off the balance. In those 60 days, you will receive two email statements and be mailed two paper statements. If the balance is not paid within those 60 days, the balance becomes overdue. At that time, the amount is moved to your KU student account to be collected. This may prevent you from enrolling in classes or getting a copy of your transcript. To prevent issues with receiving statements, please ensure we have a current mailing address on file.

How can I pay my bill?

There are many ways you can pay your bill.

  • You can pay directly through your patient portal
  • You can pay online
  • You can send checks or credit card information by mail to:
                        Watkins Health Services
                        1200 Schwegler Drive
                        Lawrence, KS 66045
                        *We do not suggest sending cash through the mail*
  • You can come to the Business Office inside Watkins Health Services and pay with credit/debit card, check or cash.
  • You can call the Business Office at 785-864-9520 and pay with a credit/debit card over the phone


Are CAPS Services free?

No, services provided by CAPS are not free. The typical appointment with a psychologist, with full health fees paid, is $15. Fees for an appointment with a psychiatrist range from $25-$40. These rates are significantly lower than you would receive elsewhere.

I am an athlete, and the athletic department pays for my medical expenses. Why am I still getting billed?

Because of HIPAA privacy laws, we are not able to bill the athletic department directly. If you have services that are to be covered by the athletic department, you need to stop by the Business Office and ask for a “Walk-Out Statement.” You can turn this statement in to your athletic trainer, who will send it to their accounting department to be paid. Keep in mind, it could be a month or more before the services are paid.



See our ADHD FAQs for more information.


Meningitis FAQ

See our Meningitis FAQs for more information.


Tuberculosis FAQ

See our Tuberculosis FAQs for more information.


Faculty & Staff Immediate Care Clinic FAQ

Will your clinic serve as my primary care provider?

No. Our clinic is intended to provide immediate care only.

What kind of medical conditions will you see in this clinic?

Acute problems involving bones & joints, respiratory (upper/lower), GI, urinary, skin, etc. No work-related injuries will receive care, other than to stabilize and transport to LMH Health.

What health insurance will you accept for payment?

We are in-network with BCBS, Cigna, United HealthCare, Aetna, and Coventry. We will bill any insurance company other than Medicare or Medicaid plans. You will be responsible for any non-covered charges and co-pays.

What if I do not want my insurance to be billed?

You may certainly request that no bill be sent to your insurance, however, you will be responsible for all charges.

How do I make an appointment?

You will call 785-864-9565 to make appointments. You may also walk-in during the clinic hours and we will see you as soon as possible.

How can I pay my co-pay and is it due at the time of service?

You may pay by credit/debit card or check at the time of service.

Who will staff the Clinic?

You will be seen by a board-certified Provider.

Will my Primary Care Physician (PCP) be informed of my visit?

Yes, we will provide information to your PCP at your request.

Where will I obtain lab testing?

You may have your blood drawn at WHS. Depending upon your insurance, it is possible that our Lab will perform the testing as well.

Where can I have a prescription filled?

You can have your prescription filled in our Watkins Pharmacy or you can request it to be sent to an outside, participating Pharmacy.

What other services am I eligible for at WHS?

Please refer to the Faculty & Staff Services page for a full listing of services available to you.


Pharmacy FAQ

What do I bring with me when I come for an office visit or to get Pharmacy prescriptions?

To get Pharmacy prescriptions, you may bring a written prescription from your provider or your most recent Rx bottle.  Or, you may bring contact information for your previous pharmacy so we may contact them.  Always bring your prescription plan ID card if you have one.  For more information, please refer to our Pharmacy page or call the Pharmacy at 785-864-9512.

How do I transfer my prescriptions from my hometown pharmacy to Watkins pharmacy? Will your pharmacy accept prescriptions from my hometown physician?

If you provide our Pharmacy staff with the contact information and your prescription number, we will call your previous pharmacy and transfer the information we need.  Yes, the pharmacy can accept valid prescriptions directly from hometown doctors. They should call 785-864-9531 to speak to our staff, or call 785-864-9512 to leave a message.  For some controlled substances, a written prescription is required.  For more information, please refer to our Pharmacy page or call the Pharmacy at 785-864-9512.

Will the Watkins Pharmacy accept my pharmaceutical coverage?

It is possible but it will be necessary for you to bring your most recent prescription plan ID card. Pharmacy staff will determine coverage from the provided information. For more information, please refer to our Pharmacy page or call the Pharmacy at 785-864-9512.

Do I have to pay for my medications at the time I pick them up from the Pharmacy?

It is optional. Currently enrolled students may choose to have prescriptions and OTC medications billed to their health center account. For more information, please refer to our Pharmacy page or call the Pharmacy at 785-864-9512.

Does Watkins Pharmacy have a delivery service?

No, our Pharmacy does not have a delivery service.

Can my parents or a friend pick-up my medication for me?

Not unless you speak to our pharmacy staff in advance and tell them the identity of your parents or friends that will be authorized to pick up your prescriptions.


Lab Procedures FAQ

Yes. All we need is an order from your doctor including a diagnosis, tests wanted, your name, and the doctor's name, address, phone and fax, if applicable. You can bring the orders with you or your doctor can fax them to us at 785-812-0215.
Providers/doctors only order lab tests they need to make a diagnosis or other decisions about ongoing care to keep you healthy. You do have the right to refuse any test; however, as an informed patient, you need to realize that not having those test results may impact your provider's ability to take care of you.
Lab results are given to the ordering provider and placed in the student's medical record at WHS. In most instances, negative lab results are sent via secure messaging to the patient. Please make sure that your current email address is registered with Watkins Health Services. WHS calls all patients who have abnormal lab results when they arrive from the lab. Students may view their lab results in the patient portal. If you have questions regarding your lab results, call our Nurse Helpline at 785-864-9583..

If your lab testing was ordered by someone outside of Watkins Health Services, the lab will send your test results to that provider. Please contact your provider's office for the results.
Lab tests at Watkins are generally 20-40% less than the community price. Lab staff will be happy to tell you the cost of any particular test. Call 785-864-9544. (There are hundreds of tests, unfortunately too many to list here.)  Most insurance policies cover lab tests to some degree. Watkins Business Office can submit your claim if you give them your insurance information.
Having blood drawn is a minimally invasive procedure taking less than a minute. Any pain experienced is brief and, for most people, slight. Our medical technologists have over 90 years (!) combined experience drawing blood and do their utmost to make it a good experience. We also have wonderful, cushy, loungers for you to relax in or a bed to make you comfortable.
The amount depends on the specific tests your provider orders. For most people, the amount varies between five and 20 milliliters -- or a few teaspoons to a few tablespoons. (FYI - the pint taken when you donate blood contains 450 milliliters. Thus, you can see that we are only taking a very small amount for these medical tests.)
Yes. Remember to keep up your fluid intake.
Only for certain tests. The most commonly ordered tests that require fasting are:
  • lipid panels
  • fasting blood sugar
  • triglycerides

Fasting means nothing but water for ten to 12 hours. The lab will be happy to answer this question in regard to any particular test your provider has ordered.


Privacy FAQ

Can I ask to be tested for a sexually transmitted illness (STI) without being seen by a provider?

Yes, you may request this testing by going to our Laboratory on the first floor of Watkins Health Center. However, please note that if you are having symptoms that have prompted you to seek STI testing or if you have been informed by a partner that you may have been exposed to an STI, it is recommended that you see a nurse or provider for evaluation before presenting to our Laboratory. If any questions remain, you may call our Laboratory at 785-864-9544 or our 24-Hour Nurse Helpine at 785-864-9583.

Can I pay for certain services without them being sent to my insurance?

Yes, you have the right to request that certain healthcare services are not billed to insurance or sent to you on a billing statement where others may see the contents of that statement.  The best way to ensure that no one is aware of the services you receive is to stop by the Business and Insurance Office and pay directly for those services.  In that way, nothing will be sent to insurance or sent to you on a billing statement.

However, if you are unable to pay for services the same day, but still wish to have “private billing,” it is your responsibility to inform the Business and Insurance Office of your preferences. You must verify the billing address you would like to use for private billing.

If you receive a service when the Business and Insurance Office is closed and want that to be privately billed, it is your responsibility to call 785-864-9520 or come by the Business and Insurance Office on the following business day to make private billing arrangements. If you have any questions about private billing, please call the number above and speak to our Business and Insurance Office.

Will you automatically tell my family about the care I received? Do I have any control over what is disclosed?

KU is compliant with federal privacy laws (see our Notice of Privacy Practices PDF) and your healthcare is your business. Only in an emergency would we notify whoever is listed as your emergency contact by the university. Otherwise, you have to sign an authorization for us to disclose your information to your family. In some instances, we will accept your verbal approval to disclose or discuss your information, e.g. your family is acting on your behalf in an urgent situation and there is not time for you to send us an authorization. For more information, please call our Registration & Records Office at 785-864-9506.

Can I sign a blanket authorization for you to always send my family copies of my medical information?

No. Watkins Health Services will not accept any blanket authorization to disclose medical information that may be created in the future. We want you to be aware of what you are disclosing; therefore your authorization must be on past medical information. For more information, please call our Registration & Records Office at 785-864-9506.

Each KU student has a secure portal for communicating with us:

Login to myWHS 
  • Make Appointments
  • Request Rx Refills
  • View Balances
  • Check Messages
  • View Lab Results
  • and more!

Summer Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am-4:30 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed

After Hours Care

24-hour Nurse Helpline:

For immediate emergency help after normal business hours, call 911. LMH Health is located at 325 Maine Street.