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Frequently Asked Questions for Parents, Family and Friends of UNM Students


  1. SHAC is not contracted with our health or pharmacy benefit plan, can my student still access services?

    1. All enrolled students pay student activity fees, a portion of which are dedicated to health services at SHAC.  One use of them is to allow for equitable access to medical and mental health providers regardless of the insured status of the student – usually for less cost than in the community even with insurance, as SHAC charges no more than $15 for copays.  If the student is uninsured, then SHAC has a self-pay rate that will cover our cost to provide the service (such as x-rays, procedures, or lab tests).  If the student has insurance that we don’t accept, we will attempt to help them find a source for the additional care elsewhere in Albuquerque at a location that does accept their insurance.  We do recommend that students and families be aware of this situation to avoid any unexpected health care related bills, as they are ultimately responsible for these costs.

    2. The SHAC Pharmacy is able to accept almost all Pharmacy Benefit Plans, and also provides a low cost alternative for many generic drugs that are commonly prescribed in the college health setting. Please contact the SHAC pharmacy at (505) 277-6306.


  2. What about access to my student’s medical or mental health provider and/or health record?

    1. If your student is 18 or older, they are legally responsible for their own health information and will need to sign a Release of Information (ROI) and have it placed in the electronic health record for you to have access to their records or for a provider to give any verbal information about their care to you.  However, even without this ROI, you may call anytime to provide verbal information to a provider about your student’s health or an episode of illness, and encouraged to do so when there is a concern, but please be aware that a release will need to be in place for the provider to provide any information back to you. We understand that this often is a big change for students and their families or guardians – and we are skilled in helping navigate this new landscape of self-advocacy and consent, including a focus on assisting the student, our patients, to make appropriate choices about what and when to communicate regarding their health care and health concerns with parents and guardians.

    2. We recommend that you make sure that UNM has accurate emergency contact information at enrollment, and update any changes, so that in the case of any type of emergency, medical or other, we are able to reach the appropriately designated contact. 


  3. Are you able to manage complex medical and mental health conditions?

    1. As with most large university health services, SHAC is a comprehensive ambulatory health service with capabilities far beyond what most students have experienced in the high school setting.  We are able to manage most acute and chronic medical and mental health conditions in-house.  If your student has an existing condition requiring ongoing care, we recommend that they establish care at SHAC as well.  That will allow us to help coordinate care with existing providers as needed, and arrange for local specialty care in Albuquerque if required.  Please review our web site for detailed information on types of services offered, range of providers of care, and facility accreditation.