Frequently Asked Questions

Health and Counseling Services

When is Health and Counseling Services open?


Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  

What if I get sick or injured when Health and Counseling Services is closed?

Life-threatening emergency?

Call 911; Hampshire College campus security and the Amherst Fire Department ambulance will respond. Transport is usually to Cooley Dickinson Hospital Emergency Department, 30 Locust St, Northampton, 413.582.2000

For after hours mental health concerns on weekends and evenings (for students when school is in session):

Call Health and Counseling Services at 413.559.5458 and choose option 1. The phone will be answered by a licensed mental health counselor who will ask how the counselor can help you. If you are a Hampshire College student, the counselor will help you with your immediate situation and help you get connected to resources that will support you in the long term. If you are a Hampshire College friend, family member, or staff/faculty member with concerns about a Hampshire student, the counselor will consult with you about your concern, speak with the student if they are available, and let you know what the next steps should be to help.

For after-hours medical care on weekends and evenings:

  • UMass COVID-19 Hotline: 413.577.5128
  • “Minute Nurse” Telephone Advice 24/7 at UMass University Health Services: 413.577.5128 or HCHCS 413.559.5458 and choose option #2. A triage nurse will help you with medical advice and how to get appropriate medical care for your concern.
  • Evening and Weekend Medical Care at UMass University Health Services (UHS): 413.577.5000, Telehealth visits until 8 p.m. Monday–Friday. Telehealth, COVID-19 testing, and in-person medical visits on weekends. All care is appointment only, so call first to discuss with a triage nurse. Hampshire students have full access to the UMass UHS whenever HCHCS is closed. Medical staff at UHS have full access to your medical records for continuity of care and will arrange follow-up with Hampshire Health and Counseling Services.
  • Amherst Urgent Care, 413.461.3530, a satellite of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 170 University Drive, Amherst, MA. Open Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–8 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • MedExpress Urgent Care: 413.253.0483, 424 Russell St. (Route 9), Amherst, MA. Open every day 8 a.m.–8 p.m. for in-person and telehealth appointments.

How do I make an appointment for counseling?

To make an appointment with one of our counselors, call the Health and Counseling Services main number: 413.559.5458, and our front office staff will easily set you up with an intake appointment.

We try to book student's first appointments within a week. During our busiest times, generally the last six weeks of the semester, scheduling can be tighter, and it may be hard to find an open appointment time that fits your schedule. In these cases, you may need to be flexible with your schedule and take the first appointment that is offered. In the case of an emergency or other urgent matter, we can see people the same day.

A first appointment with a counselor can be seen as a consultation. Your therapist will likely ask you about your current concerns and what led you to want to speak to a counselor. He or she may also ask  about your family background and about previous life experiences that may be influencing the current situation. Additionally, you should take this time to discuss what you are hoping for from the consultation and what type of support you believe will work best for you.

If I think I might have a sexually transmitted infection (STI); where can I go for help?

Simply call 413.559.5458 to schedule a convenient time to meet with one of our clinicians. You'll be able to discuss your concerns, get an examination, and have any lab tests (as recommended by the clinician) done during your appointment. Your care is CONFIDENTIAL.

How can I get started on birth control pills or get my prescription renewed?

Just schedule an appointment to meet with a medical provider at Hampshire. An internal exam is not required to get birth control.

If a clinician from outside Hampshire College provided prescription birth control, such as birth control pills, and a refill is desired through us, you will need to complete a health history form and briefly meet with a health care provider. At that visit, your health history will be reviewed and risks and benefits of the hormonal method you selected will be reviewed with you.

Can I get emergency contraception at Health and Counseling Services?

Health and Counseling Services has emergency contraception (Plan B) available. It is effective up to five days after unprotected intercourse, but should be taken as soon as possible. Emergency contraception (Plan B) is free for students at Hampshire College.

Can I get prescriptions filled at Health and Counseling Services?

Yes, if you have the written or faxed prescriptions from your provider at home and need refills while at Hampshire. We will ask you to meet with an HCHCS provider at least once to go over your health history. We will then send the prescription to the pharmacy at the University of Massachusetts Health Services and have the medication delivered by our courier service to Hampshire College Health Services. You can pay for your medication at Health and Counseling Services with cash, credit card, or a check.

If you have a chronic condition such as asthma, attention deficit disorder, high blood pressure, or depression and need an HCHCS provider to write a prescription (meaning you do not have the prescription from your provider at home), schedule an appointment to meet with an HCHCS provider. We will discuss your health condition and treat it appropriately.

Depending upon the chronic condition, the HCHCS provider may require more information from your previous providers or may decide to make a referral to a local medical specialist or therapist.

It is always best to plan ahead and schedule an appointment well before you run out of your current prescription. It will expedite your prescriptions if HCHCS has any pertinent health records faxed to our office before your appointment. Our fax is 413.559.5583 and our office phone is 413.559.5458.

Summer Prescription Plans: Please consult with the provider who prescribes your medications to send your prescriptions to the pharmacy you would like to use. To transfer your current refills please provide your new pharmacy with the following information: UHS Pharmacy @ UMASS Amherst: 413.577.5031, 150 Infirmary Way, Amherst MA 01003. Please allow up to 72 hours for a transfer.

If you are leaving the United States, call your insurance company or go on their website to request a vacation override for the time you will be traveling. Have your travel dates ready.

Can I get lab work done at Health and Counseling Services?

Yes, we have a small on-site lab for pregnancy tests, urine analysis, strep, flu and Covid-19 testing. We will draw blood if it is indicated as part of your medical care at Hampshire Health Services

If your provider at home or another specialist wants you to have lab tests done while you are at Hampshire, we ask that you schedule an appointment with an HCHCS provider who will assess the condition and the requested lab tests. We may recommend that students go to the local blood drawing station for specialized lab tests ordered by your specialists or providers at home.

 We recommend the Cooley-Dickinson Hospital Outpatient Laboratory at 170 University Drive, Amherst, at 413.253.7546 for students who need extensive testing. This lab is on a bus line and is 3.8 miles north of Hampshire College.

Can my parents get access to my medical records here?

All healthcare records at Hampshire College Health and Counseling are held in strict confidence. Although this high degree of confidentiality may be a concern to parents seeking information,  information pertaining to a student's healthcare at Hampshire is released only with the student's written consent, or by a court-ordered subpoena.

Billing and Insurance

What does the $400 Health Services Fee cover?

The $400 per semester Health Services fee covers student office visits for mental health counseling, crisis response, public health, health promotion, and emergency preparedness activities. The health fee also covers insurance co-payments for medical visits at Health Services.

What services at Health and Counseling Services will I have to pay for? What will be billed to my insurance?

Hampshire College medical office visits and lab tests will be billed to your health insurance plan through the University of Massachusetts Amherst Health Services Billing. You will be responsible for any office visit charges, prescriptions, lab tests, or x-rays that are not covered by your insurance. These charges could be called "out of network care," "co-insurance," or "deductibles."

Hampshire College covers the cost of all on-campus counseling visits.

Do students have to pay for counseling appointments at Health Services?

No. Students will not be charged for counseling appointments at Hampshire Health and Counseling. All counseling visits are confidential and free of charge.

Am I required to purchase the Hampshire Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Student Insurance Plan?

No. Students are automatically enrolled in the BCBS Student Insurance, but can waive the BCBS plan by demonstrating comparable insurance coverage at Be sure your insurance plan will provide coverage for you in the Amherst area.  Most local and mental health offices and medical facilities, including Hampshire College Health Services and the UMass University Health Services, are in-network providers with Blue Cross Blue Shield. The BCBS Student Insurance term goes from August 15 - August 14 and can be used by students while away from campus over school breaks as well as during international travel.

Do I have to pay for prescriptions I receive at Health Services?

You are responsible for paying any pharmacy or prescription charges not covered by your health insurance.  Payments are made at the time of pick-up.  Pick up is located at the front desk of Health and Counseling Services.

If I received a bill for Health Services and have a question, who do I contact?

Call the Patient Accounts office at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Health Services, 413.577.5256. Bills can be paid by check or credit card, as indicated on your billing statement or online at Learn more about the Patients First Act and the No Surprises Act.

What should I do if my health insurance changes after the school year starts?

Please notify Hampshire Health Services if you have any changes in your health insurance at 413.559.5458 or upload a copy of your new insurance card to the patient portal.  

Do I need to bring my health insurance card with me to every appointment?

Yes. You will be asked to verify your insurance at every visit, so please bring your insurance card with you. We will also accept a cell phone picture of the front and back of your insurance card.