By Josiah Ryan, Jul 26, 2012
A Lutheran University in Minnesota has announced they will cancel a voluntary insurance plan for students rather than comply with a recent Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate.
In a letter to the campus community, vice president of Gustavus Adolphus College cited an unspecified HHS mandate as the reason for cutting students from the service.
“Recent changes to student health plan regulations and the Affordable Care Act issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have resulted in our reconsideration of offering a voluntary health plan to Gustavus students,” wrote JoNes VanHecke in a letter recently forwarded to Campus Reform by a student.
“The result is that Gustavus will discontinue offering any health care coverage for students,” said VanHecke.
Gustavus Adophus College currently mandates that all students purchase health insurance. The decision to repeal the university plan means that students will either have to seek a private plan or, if they are a dependant under the age of 26, turn to their parents. Before, they had the ability to enroll in the university’s optional plan.
“It’s unfortunate the plan had to be cancelled due to politicians tinkering in Washington,” said former student Rebekah Cleary. “When I tore my ACL the plan covered almost all of my expenses. I don’t know what I would have done without it.”
One controversial mandate issued by HHS in January will require all employers that provide health insurance to employees also provide contraception at no additional cost. That ruling has prompted dozens of Catholic universities, and other institutions that say they are morally opposed to the use of contraception, file lawsuits against HHS in federal court in attempt to reverse the decision.
In May, Catholic Franciscan University, also made news when they announced that they would drop their student health care plan over the contraceptive mandate.
A spokesperson for Gustavus was not available despite multiple requests over a period of several weeks from Campus Reform.