MSU Denver continues contraceptive coverage

The health center at Auraria has been working with students to clarify the new HHS provisions for those enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Program and individual healthcare plans.

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MSU Denver students Jessica and Thomas Mindenhall exit the Auraira Health Center Plaza building on April 11. Photo by Lauren Cordova | scordo22@msudenver.edu

The health center provides guidance for students who need help choosing the best health care option.

“The cheapest plans don’t meet a student’s needs. You’re throwing away money because you get nothing in return,” said Stephen Monaco, Director of the health center. “We want students to be educated consumers.”

SHIP coverage remains true to the original Affordable Care Act mandates.

The Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump administration announced two significant changes to the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 6.

The new regulations allow businesses and religious organizations to cease offering contraceptives in their health plans. The department estimated that 200 entities will be effected based on the number of lawsuits filed with moral or religious objections, according to their press release. They also stated that 99.9 percent of women in the U.S. will not be affected.

“Birth control does more than control pregnancy. It controls health conditions like endometriosis. I don’t know why we’re afraid of it,” said Danielle Schott, an MSU Denver nursing student.

In response to the Trump administration’s actions, Planned Parenthood’s President Cecile Richards said, “This is an unacceptable attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women rely on. We’re talking about a fundamental right, to be able to decide whether and when you want to have children.”

The ACA originally required all insurance plans to fully cover FDA-approved contraceptives. The new rules released by the Trump administration in October “provide conscience protections to Americans who have a religious or moral objection to paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive/abortifacient services,” according to the HHS website news release.

Madeline Davies, a philosophy and history major at University of Colorado Denver, said that President Trump misunderstands why birth control coverage is desired. “The actions that he has taken doesn’t take into consideration why women use birth control. Women use it for a variety of reasons that he doesn’t seem to listen to.”

For students choosing individual health plans, Monaco recommended comparing the deductible and coinsurance rate. He advised students to create columns and compare routine healthcare, urgent care, inpatient care, lab and x-rays and reproductive care costs.

SHIP still fully covers FDA-approved contraceptives, and programs like Planned Parenthood continue to provide affordable birth control for women who are not insured.

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