University of San Francisco working to remove health plan’s abortion coverage

.- The University of San Francisco (USF) continues to react to the revelation that its mandatory student health insurance plan covers abortions. Insisting that the coverage is being removed from the student plan, a USF official reports that the school is also working to remove abortion coverage from its employee plans.

However, the official says contraceptive coverage for students and employees is mandated by California law.

Last week, the blog of the Catholic Key, the newspaper for the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph in Missouri, reported that USF students were required to enroll in the USF health insurance plan if they did not have comparable coverage of their own.

The University of San Francisco (USF) Student Health Insurance Plan, underwritten by Aetna Life Insurance Company, is described in a university brochure as covering "voluntary termination of pregnancy."

Gary McDonald, assistant vice president of communications and public affairs at USF, spoke about the issue in a recent interview with Our Sunday Visitor.

"As stated on Dec. 12, it was not the university's intention to offer coverage for the voluntary termination of pregnancy, and we are removing this provision from our student health plan, he stated. "We regret this mistake, and we take full responsibility for not adequately reviewing the contract. We are grateful to those who brought this issue to our attention."

"Coverage for the voluntary termination of pregnancy in the student health plan was a mistake, and that provision is being removed. However, health insurance is still mandatory for all USF students."

McDonald clarified earlier reports which claimed that the USF student clinic at St. Mary’s Medical Center referred students to Planned Parenthood or Aetna providers for contraceptives and abortions.

"Students are not referred to Planned Parenthood, but are referred to Aetna providers for prescriptions," he told Our Sunday Visitor. "Under California law, prescription plans must pay for all FDA approved medications, including contraception."

"Prescriptions for contraception are never provided at the USF Clinic, nor are referrals to Planned Parenthood for abortions," he added.

He continued to discuss the student health clinic: "In light of recent inquiries, we are now aware that our protocol needs improvement. We are taking immediate steps to remedy this, and are in the process of developing a protocol to ensure that counseling and pro-life options are always provided at the USF clinic."

McDonald responded to reports that USF employee insurance covered abortion and contraception.

"USF offers two options for employee health insurance, Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente. Our Blue Cross claims procedure excludes coverage for surgical abortion. When USF negotiated its contract with Kaiser, we were unable to opt out of the plan's provision for termination of pregnancy. USF decided to offer the Kaiser plan because Kaiser is widely considered to be the highest-quality HMO in Northern California."

He told Our Sunday Visitor that USF is trying to determine if the contract can be renegotiated and the provision covering abortion eliminated.

Though asked about claims that, as early as 2005, the USF plan apparently covered the abortion pill RU-486, McDonald did not address the issue.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »


Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: