Physical Health

+ EXPAND YALE HEALTH COVERAGE TO INCLUDE DENTAL AND OPTICAL COVERAGE.

Currently, Yale Health Specialty Coverage is limited in scope for what it offers students in terms of optical + dental care. When looking at how Yale Specialty addresses optical + dental health, the care is currently substandard. We plan to work with Yale Health to expand optical coverage to include a frame allowance + dental insurance to include regular dental check-ups, as well as oral surgery.

+ REINTRODUCE AND EXPAND SAFERIDE TO INCLUDE FREE TRANSPORTATION TO YALE HEALTH AND YALE NEW HAVEN HOSPITAL. 

Next year, there will be three class years that have not experienced a full normal year at Yale. A slow return to normalcy next year will likely be coupled with an uptick in health-related emergencies, particularly related to alcohol consumption as social distancing guidelines relax and we collectively move past the last two years. Such cases require transportation to Yale Health and/or Yale New Haven Hospital, but this should not come at a steep financial cost to students. We expect there to be a transition period of expanded emergencies, and we want to be prepared for it by providing a quick, free, safe, + easy mode of transportation. We plan to reintroduce SafeRide, a program that provides free transportation to students from 6pm - 6am anywhere on campus, and we plan to expand it to include rapid transportation to Yale Health + Yale New Haven Hospital.

+ EXTEND STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE ENROLLMENT DEADLINES AND OFFER PRORATED HEALTH INSURANCE RATES.

Right now, students only have until September 15th to enroll in Yale’s student health coverage. We want to allow any Yale student to enroll in Hospitalization/Specialty Care or Affiliate/Self-Pay coverage at any point in the semester, and we additionally propose that students enrolling after September 15th should receive prorated billing so the fee charged accurately represents the amount of time the student is receiving coverage for. These are both attainable proposals that could be run through the membership services division of Yale Health + the Yale College Dean’s Office. Implementing these policies would benefit uninsured students + ensure that students don’t have to wait until the next semester to get health insurance in the event that they miss the September 15 deadline.

+ EXPAND THE DISPOSABLE MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS (DMP) PROGRAM TO ALL CAMPUS BUILDINGS. 

The YCC Disposable Menstrual Products (DMP) Program has been met with widespread support, and we hope to build on this to expand the program. Currently, DMPs are available in residential colleges and on Old Campus, but our goal is to expand it to more campus buildings. Namely, we will collaborate with athletic teams to institute a similar program in athletic locker rooms, and work to expand this provision into libraries, cultural centers, and graduate student housing.

+ CREATE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN YALE HEALTH AND ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES ON CAMPUS

We will work to establish better communication between Yale Health and Yale Student Accessibility Services. We want to ensure that Yale Health is better able to direct students on campus to available resources and support in order to better integrate Yale Health and our physical health needs into campus.

+ ENSURE THAT BUILDINGS ARE PHYSICALLY ACCESSIBLE

We plan to ensure that buildings, walkways, + ramps are accessible + ADA compliant. We also specifically plan to work with facilities to ensure fast turnaround of impediments of accessibility, such as ensuring that elevators that break down in buildings are immediate priorities. Yale’s current policy on building accessibility is reactive; we need it to be proactive.

  1. Establish a clear and specific pipeline with facilities to deal with maintenance issues that impact building accessibility, such as broken elevators/ramps, automatic doors

  2. Work with Yale Facilities to upgrade/update ventilation/air filtration systems in residential buildings

  3. Build usable/accessible walking paths on Old and Cross Campus

  4. Work to add ramps and elevators to all possible classroom buildings, as well as campus spaces (e.g. Cultural Houses) 

+ ESTABLISH A MEDICAL LITERACY PROGRAM FOR YALE STUDENTS. 

Yale Health has proven to be incredibly hard to navigate for students, and our hope is to assist with this by increasing health literacy on campus. Health literacy is “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions”. It informs or limits an individual’s ability to search for and use health information, adopt healthy behaviors, follow prescribed treatment plans, and act on important public health alerts. We plan to implement literacy programs that allow for the following:

  1. Increase students’ ability to appropriately utilize health and mental health services, both on and off campus.

  2. Strengthen students’ understanding of their health-related financial resources and responsibilities.

  3. Strengthen students’ ability to engage in appropriate prevention, self-care, and/or self-management measures.

+ CREATE A DISSEMINATION PLAN FOR COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOTS THAT PRIORITIZES INDIVIDUALS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

This past year, Bayan has worked closely with members of Yale’s vaccination program to ensure smooth vaccine rollout. However, vaccine considerations are not over yet, and this expertise will prove important in the coming year for additional considerations. Current studies show that there will likely be a need for COVID-19 booster shots to be administered 12 months after receiving the vaccine. As such, we plan to continue our work with the vaccination team to ensure that those with pre-existing conditions are prioritized for access to the booster shots at Yale, once this need arises.  

+ INCREASE COLLABORATION BETWEEN YCC + Public Health Education for Peers (PHEPs) Team

Over the past year, as Health & COVID-19 Policy Chair, Bayan has worked to establish a working relationship between the YCC Health & COVID-19 Policy Team + the PHEPs Team. They worked together on various initiatives, including the PHEPs Campus Crawl, the PHEPs Corner in the YCC Newsletter, + more. In the coming year, as we continue working to build a healthier Yale, collaboration between YCC + the PHEPs team will prove important, and we hope to expand on the existing partnership to continue prioritizing student health + health education on campus.

+ PRODUCE A COLLECTIVE COMMUNITY COOKBOOK (AS A GOOGLE DRIVE) WITH HEALTHY + CHEAP FOOD RECIPES + OPTIONS FOR OFF CAMPUS STUDENTS

In order to facilitate healthy and/or cheap food options for off campus students, we plan to create a community cookbook as a Google Drive. Students can collectively contribute to the drive, and it can serve as a campus-wide effort to reduce food insecurity.

+ EXPAND SAFETY NET FOR THE SUBSIDIZATION OF EMERGENCY MEDICATION FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS

We will work alongside Yale Health Equity Initiative (YHEI) to advocate for the subsidization of emergency medications. When victims of sexual assault go to Yale Health to receive emergency treatment, physicians often prescribe emergency medications to prevent the transmission of STIs, including medications that prevent the spread of gonorrhea, HIV, and AIDS, and they can be life-saving. Although physicians often give a few-day supply of these multi-course medications to their patients, patients must go to Yale Pharmacy later to refill the medications. Even with Yale Health Insurance, these medications carry an insurmountable copay for low-income students. For example, Descovy + Tivicay, a 28-day course of medication to prevent HIV transmission, carries a copay of $70. This disincentives students to continue their medications + could lead to life-threatening consequences. 

Currently, the Yale Safety Net covers unexpected medical expenses when the cost is “beyond insurance coverage,” but it is only available for “high-need students.” We hope to work ok alongside YHEI to expand this to include “emergency medications + resources for sexual assault survivors of all financial ability.” In the current wording, it is not clear whether the YCDO will cover copayments for these medications + whether these resources will be available to all sexual assault survivors. By clarifying this, victims will no longer have to ask for clarification from the YCDO, which could be a retraumatizing experience, and they will be more likely to request funds. Additionally, when students purchase these emergency medications, the charges appear on credit card statements + bank statements if a withdrawal is made. This inadvertently breaches the student’s privacy + opens them up to potential interrogation from their families. By expanding this resource to middle-income students, victims will be more likely to purchase necessary emergency medications if they believe their privacy is protected.