Plan for Reproductive Health Care Access by Students

Pursuant to Public Act 23-41

Introduction: Public Act 23-41 charged the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) to establish and update, as necessary, a plan for each residential campus under the board’s jurisdiction regarding access for students who live on these campuses to reproductive health care services from a health care provider licensed to provide these services. 

The following comprises Central’s report on addressing Public Act No. 23-41:

  1. The availability of equipment and licensed health care providers for the provision of reproductive health care services on the residential campus or in the surrounding community.

    The Health Services staff at Central offers an array of reproductive health care services to all enrolled students.  Some services offered include point of care pregnancy testing, STI testing and treatment, contraception counselling and care, gynecological exams and treatment of vaginal infections along with most routine issues dealing with women’s health.  Referrals are made to the surrounding area providers for those services not available on campus. We aid students undergoing gender transitioning by offering them the ability to continue getting their injections at our office instead of traveling off campus once their dosing has been determined by their gender affirming care provider. 

  2. The provision of referrals for and transportation services to access reproductive health care services at any off-campus location.  

    Currently, we make referrals to off campus locations, specifically for abortion services (Planned Parenthood in Hartford), and for OB/GYN services that are not provided on campus such as pap smears and cervical exams.

    Due to Central being in New Britain, referrals for off campus services are made to service providers in the New Britain and Greater Hartford area. If a student chooses to seek treatment off campus, they are able to utilize free bus/ train passes to travel within CT.

  3. Opportunities for providing reproductive health care services or other associated services, including, but not limited to, counseling services, through telehealth.

    Central offers telehealth appointments for counseling services and other services related to general and reproductive health care. Students may have to utilize local off campus pharmacies to fill prescriptions.  

  4. The provision of available educational materials concerning maternal mental health care and resources for maternal mental health screenings.

    Health Services and the Counseling department at Central offer educational materials based on the needs of all students, including those who are pregnant or parents. Educational materials are readily available in both departments, which are located adjacent to each other.  Mental health screenings are performed on all students accessing Health Services. Additionally, mental health screenings are performed by counselors in the Counseling Office during their initial visit. We currently use the PHQ-9 screening tool and the Columbia Depression Screen.

  5. Means for ensuring continuity of care during holiday and vacation periods during and between semesters.

    Health Services is open M-F, 9 am – 5 pm.  We are open year-round, with offices closed only on Federal Holidays.  The longest duration of closure on campus is 2 days for Thanksgiving.  We ensure there is minimum to no disruption in care.  Campus police are called for after hour emergencies or during holidays for urgent situations. Students can also call campus police and opt to be transported via ambulance to the Hospital of Central CT as the nearest area hospital or another hospital of their choice.

  6. An estimate of the costs associated with implementing such plan and the availability of funds, through public and private sources, to cover such costs.

    The current public transportation system available to students does not require additional university funds. Students pay a transportation fee as part of their tuition expenses. That fee provides all students with the U-Pass which allows for free transportation on buses and trains in CT. If we were to implement a reimbursement process for utilizing a Ridesharing or taxi service, it would depend on the distance traveled and/or time.  

  7. The provision of information and materials about pregnancy being a qualifying event for health insurance coverage in the state.

    This information is provided to students when needed and is also readily accessible on the Central website and on the website under Connecticut Insurance Department. Health Services offers guidance to students on all levels when it comes to navigating insurance related issues and helping them understand their options as related to their health and/or those impacting their healthcare, including but not limited to pregnancy and gender affirming care being qualifying life events.