Public college cites high cost of Obamacare in canceling students' health plans

Campus Reform Reporter

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  • Bowie State is among the oldest, and most elite historically black colleges in the nation.
  • Student health insurance costs will rise from $50 to $900 per semester.
  • White House says it has 'a bias in favor of historically black colleges and universities.'
  • Obamacare's new regulations would force the cost of the the insurance to rise from $50 to $900 a semester.

    Officials at one one of the nation's oldest and most elite historically black colleges are citing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the reason they have cancelled a school-wide affordable health care plan they had offered students. 

    The official website for Bowie State, a Maryland public school less than an hour's drive from Washington D.C., explains that Obamacare's new regulations would force the cost of the insurance to rise from $50 to $900 a semester. 

    "The cost of insurance for domestic students will increase to approximately $1800 per year."   

    "Bowie State University has suspended offering health insurance for domestic students for the 2013-2014 academic year," states the school's official website. "Due to new requirements of the Affordable Care Act which will go into effect on January 1, 2014, the cost of insurance for domestic students will increase to approximately $1800 per year."

    That works out to approximately $900 per semester. The student health insurance plan had cost students $50 per semester for the 2012-13 school year, according to a cached page of the university's description of the plan. The original link to the description has been deleted.

    According to an article in The Bulldog Collegian, Bowie State's student newspaper, the Director of the Bowie State University Wellness Center said that the university decided it would not be worth it to provide student health insurance at all given how expensive it would be to do so under the new regulations.

    The student's article, published Nov. 10, had slightly different numbers than the school website's. It states that the student health plan used to cost $54/semester, not $50, and that the new insurance costs would amount to $1,900 per year, not $1,800.

    In August of this year, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested that President Obama's would lend special support to the country's historically black colleges and universities. 

    "The President and this administration have been strong supporters of historically black colleges and universities all across the country," said Earnest, speaking from the White House on August 20. "Funding for those colleges and universities has increased under President Obama."

    "[T]he record -- the President’s record on these issues -- he has a bias in favor of historically black colleges and universities because of the service they provide and because of the quality education that they provide to their students."

    Bowie State's Wellness Center did not respond to requests for comment from Campus Reform in time for publication.

    Several other colleges and universities, such as community colleges in New Jersey, have also had to cancel student health insurance plans because of Obamacare.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter @kctimpf

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