Franciscan University of Steubenville has decided to drop its student health insurance program for the fall 2012 semester after a new federal law enacted by the Obama administration began requiring contraception coverage under most employee and student health policies.
The contraception requirement has led to numerous lawsuits, however those cases could take months, even years to resolve and in the meantime the university doesn’t want to fall into line over the issue.
On its official website the university writes:
“The Obama Administration has mandated that all health insurance plans must cover ‘women’s health services’ including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing medications as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Up to this time, Franciscan University has specifically excluded these services and products from its student health insurance policy, and we will not participate in a plan that requires us to violate the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacredness of human life.”
The university’s current plan expires on Aug. 15, 2012.
Under its abandonment of student health care the university will no longer require that full-time undergraduates have health insurance which in the past led the university to automatically bill those students for the university’s own health insurance plan.
While Franciscan University is ditching their student health insurance program, their attempt to shift blame is a bit misleading, under the ‘directly and separately” portion of the new health care initiative it is actually the insurance company that pays for the contraception and not the insurance buyer if they are a religious organization or Catholic school. The program also allows for a one-year transitional period to make the chance to the new plan which means Franciscan University could have continued to offer coverage without the contraception requirement.
The university has not offered any alternatives for its nearly 3,000 students but did suggest they find some type of coverage to help in the event of illness or accidents.