The inevitable conclusion from last week’s statement from Ave Maria University has arrived, perhaps a little more quickly than most would have imagined. Six days ago, the Catholic university followed in the footsteps of Franciscan University, which explicitly dumped its student coverage because of the HHS contraception mandate. Ave Maria also objected to the HHS mandate, but said that large cost increases might end up driving their decision. Today they announced that the 15% of their student body that relied on their relatively inexpensive health insurance would have to look elsewhere, and the university made clear the full extent of the cost increases:
Ave Maria’s insurance carrier notified the University that, because of the provisions of Obamacare, which require an increase in the maximum benefit per injury or illness (from $50,000 to $100,000), students would not only face a 66% increase in their premiums (from $839 to $1,392) but also an increase in their deductible (from $100 to $250 per policy year).
“For any college or university like Ave Maria that requires students to have health insurance, this new cost will come as both a surprise and disappointment to the students affected. But for religiously-affiliated universities like Ave Maria, the damaging effect of the new Federal government regulations goes even further,” the college said in a statement.
The insurance carrier also notified Ave Maria that the HHS mandate required it to pay all claims for “preventive care services” regardless of the fact that they are specifically excluded in the Ave Maria group plan.
“So while the proposed premium increase is a financial burden to our students, the PPACA-required coverage of “preventive care services,” such as abortion-inducing drugs, is an affront to our core values,” it added. “It is a sad day when Ave Maria’s students are forced to choose between enrolling in a health insurance plan that is both costly and offers morally objectionable benefits, and having no coverage at all. The University has heard from a number of our elected student leaders and they, too, find the latest twist in the Federal mandate saga unacceptable.”
The reason that Ave Maria’s health plan was reasonably priced before ObamaCare was because it was tailored to the needs of younger clients. At that age, people mainly need to indemnify themselves from hospitalization or major medical attention rather than buy comprehensive plans they won’t use. Very little in preventive care is necessary for college students, certainly not five hundred dollars a year in such services — plus the extra $150 in deductible.
Unfortunately, Ave Maria can no longer offer coverage tailored to the actual needs of its students. Why? Because bureaucrats in the HHS decided that adults of all ages need to buy comprehensive plans that cost younnger adults far more than the value they will ever extract. And the reason for that is that HHS wants healthy young adults to subsidize coverage for older and less healthy adults. This is a demonstration of the perverse redistribution of wealth from younger adults to middle-aged adults, which was the only way that ObamaCare could even pretend to be cost-neutral.
So much for “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”