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Catholic Xavier University lists abortion in health insurance plan

University says it does not cover abortion even though plan says so

Xavier University’s health insurance plan not only appears to cover abortion – it looks like the school specifically added it into the coverage.

But the Catholic Cincinatti university denies its student health insurance plan covers abortion.

A “policy endorsement” on the plan appeared to delete an “exclusion” of abortion.

The plan lists abortion as a “Non-EHB [Essential Health Benefit] benefits added to plan via additional endorsement.” It includes, like other covered benefits, the amount the plan pays for in-network and out-of-network providers.

The following page shows the “policy endorsement” appears to be signed by university President Colleen Hanycz.

“Benefits will be paid at the benefits levels indicated in the schedule of benefits,” the endorsement states.

The Jesuit university’s public relations specialist said “no” when asked if the plan covers abortion. He said “nothing has changed regarding this policy from previous years.” He said there are few enrollees in the plan.

The College Fix asked for clarification since the language appears to indicate abortion is coverage. The Fix said there was possibly confusion on its end due to the double-negatives of deleting exclusions.

“The confusion regarding the wording is definitely understandable — but again, the answer to your question is, no, elective abortions are not a covered benefit under the policy,” spokesman David Hamilton said in late March.

He did not respond to another inquiry sent two weeks ago that asked why the plan includes deductible amounts for a non-covered benefit.

United Healthcare has not responded to multiple email and phone contacts in the past weeks that sought clarify on what the policy says.

MORE: New California law results in 400 abortions on campus

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has also not responded to multiple requests for comment on the policy.

The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a serious evil.

“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church states. “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”

Pro-life group American Life League criticized the plan’s apparent endorsement of abortion.

“Catholic teaching is explicitly clear that abortion is never ok…The Catholic Church never allows for any exceptions for abortion,” Director of Communications Katie Brown told The Fix via a media statement. “Abortion is the intentional killing of a child, every single time.”

When asked what the university should do to reconcile this apparent coverage, Brown said “Xavier should swiftly redact this policy. We encourage the Bishops in Ohio to hold the college accountable for promoting this evil.”

She called it “discouraging,” as a Catholic to see the university “make policies that directly contradict our faith.”

“However it’s a great opportunity for our Bishops and Church leaders to remind the laity why abortion is always evil, and what incredible life affirming options exist,” Brown said.

Other Catholic universities cover abortion in their health plans, including St. Xavier University in Chicago and the University of San Diego, as previously reported by The Fix.

MORE: Abortions come to Columbia campus

IMAGE: UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company

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About the Author
College Fix contributor William Hurley is a student at Hope College where he studies political science and theology. He is active in many clubs including Hope Republicans, Hope Catholics, and Students Cherishing Life. He has written for the Hope College student newspaper, The Anchor.