Monday, March 19, 2012

ObamneyCare© Doubling Down on Campus

Dropping all pretense at rational thought, Secretary Shecantbeserious and her boss have decreed that, henceforth, university students will be supplied "free" convenience items birth control:

"[Shecantbeserious] said student health plans will be treated like employees’ plans, meaning they will have to ... provide contraception without charging a copay."

First, it should be noted that, contrary to popular belief, convenience items birth control is not a "women's health issue." In fact, it is not a "health issue" at all. So it makes little sense to mandate that student health plans, mediocre as they are to begin with, should pay for it. The irony, of course, is that these plans don't actually pay very well (if at all) for real health care.

Second, the "consciousness clause" opt-out (for religious institutions) is again paid short shrift:

"Religious universities will treat their student plans the same as their employees’ plans ... they will not have to directly offer contraception in their plans, but students and workers will be able to get birth control from their insurance companies without a copay."

This is stupid on two levels:

Yes, it means that these schools won't be directly funding convenience items birth control, but their students who (unfortunately) sign up for these plans are paying for it for themselves and their fellow students.

[By the way: anyone else notice the schizophrenic nature of ObamneyCare© here? These students, most or all presumably aged 26 and younger, are eligible to stay on Mom and Dad's insurance, but they're also supposed to buy the so-called student health plan? How does that even make sense?]

Third, there's this little gem:

"Religious schools that self-insure ... do not have to provide [convenience items] to their students. How the mandate will work for the employees of self-insured religious institutions is still being decided."

Well, perhaps we can help out here. FoIB Nate Ogden is a Third Party Administrator, and he has some thoughts on how self-funded plans will have to deal with this new mandate:

"In their latest effort to protect women from the unaffordable $9 a month for birth control, the Obama administration is proposing the TPA of a self funded plan provide birth control for free.

Here's the problem with that:

I charge $10-$25 Per Employee Per Month (PEPM) which works out to $120-$300 per year. My profit margins currently run around 10%, meaning I have $12-$30 per year per member after paying expenses like rent, salaries, paper, postage, etc. Obama and his HHS now wants me to cover up to $3000+ per year in contraceptive benefits per female employee/student. Obviously I can’t pay a $3000 bill with $30 of revenue so I would need to terminate clients.

Is this keeping the coverage you have?"

Regular readers know that that promise went under the bus a long time ago.

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