The AUBG Health and Well-being Center assists students, faculty, and staff in getting prompt consultation, evaluation and treatment of medical problems.
The medical services on site are available through a licensed General Practitioner’s (GP) practice and include:
- routine physical exams and health evaluations;
- lab test referrals;
- treatment for medical problems;
- consultations on a variety of health-related issues;
- health education, etc.
Equipment for some basic diagnostic and lab tests is available on-site. When necessary, the center issues referrals for laboratory tests, x-ray, consultation with specialists, and/or hospital treatment at other healthcare facilities.
The Health & Well-being Center operates under the regulations established by Bulgarian legislation and the standards of the American College Health Association.
Patient confidentiality and privacy are guaranteed according to the Health & Well-being Center Policies & Procedures and the laws in effect.
Health Insurance for Bulgarian Students
According to the Health Insurance Law, the Bulgarian state budget covers Bulgarian students' health insurance installments.
At the beginning of their study, all new Bulgarian AUBG students must fill in a declaration stating that they are under 26 years of age and do not have their own income. If they do not meet that criteria, the health insurance installments will be their own responsibility.
In order to avoid interruption of their health insurance rights to medical services, students have to cover the insurance instalments for the months between their high school graduation and the beginning of their university studies.
The above-mentioned law requires all Bulgarian citizens to have a general practitioner (GP). When making their first GP selection and enrolling, the patients receive a health insurance book which is their pass to the covered medical services. When someone changes their GP, they have to present it to the new GP for registration of the change. In order to guarantee easier access to medical services, AUBG recommends that Bulgarian students select a GP in Blagoevgrad for the period of their education.
There is a licensed General Practitioner’s practice at the AUBG Health & Well-being Center run by Dr. Ventsislav Daskalov (Health & Well-being Center Director). Bulgarian students may choose to sign up with him. In accordance with Bulgarian law, the practice provides a full range of services covered by the NHIF to the students who have registered with his GP practice. All others may be served on-site, but cannot use referrals to laboratories, specialists, and/or hospitals.
The services at the Health & Well-being Center are free for AUBG students, with the exception of some consumables.
Outside the AUBG Health & Well-being Center, students can use the services of the local health facilities, both state and private.
All students can use the services of more than 60 dentist practices in Blagoevgrad. Payment for the services is the student's responsibility and will be covered according to the respective regulations of the Health Insurance Law and the terms of the health insurance contract between the National Health Insurance Fund and the dentist providing the dental service. According to the current agreement, the state health insurance partially covers a dental exam, treatment of non-complicated tooth decay, a tooth filling, and tooth extraction, including local anesthesia.
Health Insurance for International Students
Bulgarian law requires that all international students have health insurance that covers their medical needs for the period of their education.
According to the AUBG Policies & Procedures and the American College Health Association guidelines for student health, AUBG provides an appropriate medical insurance plan for our international students. It is contracted with a Bulgarian insurance company and covers the expenses for acute and chronic illnesses, accidents, basic dental services, and repatriation. This medical insurance is valid only in Bulgaria, with a period of coverage for one semester (four months) or a full academic year (nine months).
The approximate premium for the 2020-2021 academic year is $75, or $40 per semester. This amount is subject to change. It will be charged to each student’s account and it will be their own responsibility to pay it.
According to the AUBG Health Insurance policies, all full-time international students are automatically enrolled in this plan and the cost of the insurance will be charged to the student’s account immediately after the initial fall or spring enrollment.
EU citizens may use the EU health insurance card (HIC) for medical service coverage. However, we recommend that they enroll in our insurance plan since the EU HIC covers only emergencies and requires procedures that are more bureaucratic in order to get help when someone needs it.
All visiting students for one semester may use their own health insurance plan if it covers the expenses in Bulgaria at least to the same level the AUBG health insurance plan does. They have to present proof of such insurance during their check-in procedure at the Health & Well-being Center. In this case, the students will be responsible for all claim procedures to comply with their insurance plan.
Keep in mind that by far, not all Bulgarian health facilities can provide services contracted with foreign health insurance companies. We recommend that all AUBG students use the university health insurance plan for easier access to health services in Bulgaria.
A sum of 10 USD is deductible as a co-payment from the amount of the first claim. The total coverage may not exceed $7,500. This amount has been proven to be adequate for the current market prices and the needs of the students.
Vitamins supply for general use, weight control medicines, birth control pills, etc. and expenses due to the treatment of alcohol and/or illegal drug-related accident illness, pregnancy/abortion, suicide, injuries due to practicing extreme sports, etc. will not be covered by the insurance.
According to the insurance policy, the subject of coverage is medical services non-Bulgarian students will need outside the AUBG Health & Well-being Center due to acute and chronic diseases (requiring ongoing monitoring and treatment) and accidents, including:
- Outpatient treatment, including consultations and tests - up to 2,500 USD
- Medicines for outpatient treatment - up to 100 USD
- Hospital treatment (non-surgical) - up to 2,500 USD
- Surgery - up to 7,500 USD
- Rehabilitation (as an addendum to a hospital treatment) - up to 300 USD
- Preventive examinations - up to 20 USD
- Seasonal flu vaccine - up to 15 USD
- Dental treatment (emergency, pain-related) - up to 150 USD
- Repatriation and medical transportation - up to 3,500 USD
Students can use the services in many partner health facilities (that have a contract with the insurance company) where they will not pay in cash.
In all other non-partner health facilities, students have to pay in cash for the services they receive. After submitting all required medical documents at the Health & Well-being Center or one of the insurance company’s offices, listed below, the insurance company will reimburse their medical expenses.
When cash-free service is used in a health facility that has a contract with the insurance company, all documents that might be required are:
Medical summaries/reports and/or referral notes from the specialist(s), lab tests, and prescriptions for medicines prescribed from a physician in relation to the disease and all invoices for the prescribed medicines and/or tests paid separately in cash, if any.
Cash payment procedure
When non-partner health facilities are used, the documents required for reimbursement are:
- Medical summary or medical reports from the specialist(s)
- Referral notes
- Referrals for lab tests
- Prescription for medicines prescribed from a physician in relation to the disease, all invoices and the receipt attached to them
- Invoices must be issued for each expense, such as a doctor’s visit fee or medicines purchased.
Submit all documents that apply to your case to reimburse expenses covered by your health insurance.
- Medical summary from the physician
- Referrals for lab tests and lab results
- Medicine prescriptions
- Invoices for all expenses paid in cash
- Receipts for all expenses paid in cash
- Bulgarian bank account IBAN
Students have the right to miss a class when their health condition prevents them from attending. In order to excuse the absence before the professor(s), they have to present a certificate signed by the Director of the Health & Well-being Center.
A certificate can only be issued if the student has contacted the center's medical staff at the moment of the disease and/or visited the center for a physical exam. If the student seeks an excuse after the disease has gone, they might not get one.
In case the student visits an external physician or medical facility, they have to take a referral letter from them with an explanation of the health problem. After presenting it to the Health & Well-being Center, they will receive the excuse certificate to present to the professor(s).
In case a student has a long-term health problem that stops them from attending the regular academic activities for a period longer than is allowed by the courses’ syllabi, they could apply for a leave of absence for the respective semester. In this situation, they should contact the Registrars’ Office to start the procedure. The student has to present to the Health & Well-being Center Director a medical summary, signed by a specialist with explanation of the health problem specifics, the necessary treatment and how it affects their ability to study.
All these procedures might be completed online and via means of distant communications.
AUBG complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the European Union standards on non-discrimination and equal opportunity for the disabled in the work and academic environment. According to the ADA, a person with a disability is someone “who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability.”
AUBG will make every reasonable effort to be accommodating to students with documented disabilities who need academic and/or housing accommodations. Reasonable accommodations include but are not limited to making facilities accessible, providing adaptive equipment, and providing student assistants to support the student in and/or outside the classroom. AUBG has ultimate discretion to choose among effective accommodations.
Students are responsible for providing relevant information and requesting academic and/or housing accommodations through the Dean of Students who serves as the AUBG Student Disability Services Coordinator.
Visit the Medical Center at the Skaptopara I Residence Hall, call +359 73 888 209/210, or send an email.
Counseling is a collaborative process that involves joint problem-solving in a confidential context. Almost all counseling is based on:
The development of a trusting and open relationship between the client and the counselor.
Honest exploration of feelings, needs, and concerns.
Efforts to try new solutions for old problems.
Confidentiality is a cornerstone of counseling sessions. We believe counseling is most effective when a student can be direct and honest with a counselor without fear that personal information will be divulged. Confidentiality is also an ethical and legal requirement.
We keep separate records from other administrative offices on campus. We do not release any information about a student without that student’s written permission. There are, however, legal and ethical limits to confidentiality.
In life-threatening situations, the duty to protect supersedes the right to confidentiality and we may call for additional help, without permission, to protect you or someone else from imminent danger.
The Counseling Center provides counseling, educational, and developmental services to the university community. The center is committed to increasing awareness and knowledge of differences so that respectful human interactions and effective interconnections can occur.
Our goal is for all AUBG students, faculty, and staff to be able to access our services and receive acceptance regardless of culture, gender, generation, ethnicity, lifestyle, spirituality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, language, or physical and mental disabilities.
Many students visit the Counseling Center because they want to learn more about themselves as they integrate into the university community. Some students come because they want to improve their studies or are unsure about their major. Others come because they have difficult decisions to make, or are dealing with an unhappy turn of events in their lives. Perhaps they have a general feeling that they could be getting more out of life, or they want to explore their relationships with people and world around them.
Students also come for counseling because they feel something is bothering them but they do not know what it is and they do not know how to talk about it. New and returning students, men and women, culturally diverse students, and students of differing sexual orientation, among others, use the Counseling Center. It would be unusual to have a student who at some time did not experience challenges in adapting to new situations and changes taking place.
Counseling services are provided free of charge to all students. When appropriate, the staff refers students to other campus offices as well as to other human services agencies in the country.
Counseling may be helpful if you feel concerned about any of the following:
- Feeling lonely
- Wondering what you are going to do with your life
- Choosing relationships that don’t seem to work out
- Drinking or using drugs
- Hiding a secret
- Not knowing how to study
- Doing your homework and feeling as though you listen in class but your grades don’t reflect your efforts
- Selecting a major
- Feeling stress or anxiety
- Feeling sad, depressed, or having low energy
- Difficulty sleeping
- You don’t seem to have the friendship you would like
- Thoughts of suicide
- Either eating too much or too little
- Exercising compulsively
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
Case management services offer a holistic assessment of the client’s individual health needs with an emphasis on enhancing overall health and well-being. The role of case management is:
- Ongoing support
- Monitoring and linkage of clients to other services dependent on the client’s individual needs and interests
Stressful events, emotional upsets, and emergency situations are part of life. A crisis does not necessarily follow a traumatic event, nor does it imply or inevitably lead to an emotional or mental breakdown. Something that is a crisis for one person may not be a crisis for another. Crisis intervention is a short-term helping process. It focuses on the resolution of the immediate problem using available resources.
Personal counseling allows the student to talk with a caring professional on a one-on-one basis. This therapeutic relationship can assist the student in solving their current problems and conflicts, while exploring their beliefs and values, and taking into consideration developmental issues associated with college life. The ultimate goal is to help the student find a greater sense of balance and satisfaction in their personal life.
In this setting the counselor facilitates the therapy process while allowing group participants to discuss and share their feelings and concerns. Since most developmental issues for college students relate in some way to their interpersonal functioning, this exciting process is extremely useful and effective. Group counseling provides an opportunity for students to practice new ways of behaving and relating to others in a relatively safe environment.
The focus of the group or workshop is chosen by the needs of the college community as determined by Counseling Center professionals, and students showing interest in a particular topic.
The Peer Educators are AUBG students who are student liaisons between the Counseling Center and the student body. They are involved with marketing and outreach activities for the Counseling Center.
If the needs of the student are outside the scope of our center, we will provide referral resources within the institution and the local community as needed. If you are concerned about a friend please make an appointment to speak with a professional or one of the peer educators.
This group will allow international students to share and explore their experiences of being a student abroad. Topics will include: homesickness, interpersonal relationships, language, educational responsibilities and community resources.
This group is designed to provide members with a supportive environment for personal and interpersonal development and growth. Group members come from diverse backgrounds and are invited to discuss concerns such as self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, self-knowledge, and social skills. We will use creative activities and role plays to enhance self-knowledge, communication, problem-solving, and general coping skills.
This group is designed to help students cope with and reduce feelings of anger. Participants learn how to identify sources of anger and evaluate how it affects their lives and relationships.
In this group the participants will be given tools which help to explore the conditions that affect that affect their own learning process and influence their achievements.
This is an open group that will be offered on a weekly basis during peak stress times in the semester. The group includes relaxation techniques and creative activities to reduce the intensity of stress.
Visit the Counseling Center at the Skaptopara I Residence Hall, room 1121, or email psychologist Rayna Tozlukova.