Insurance coverage

UT community reflects on impact of lack of abortion insurance coverage for university employees – The Daily Texan

When Lisa Moore moved to Texas in 1991, its inclusiveness appealed to her, but with increasingly restrictive reproductive health care, she doesn’t feel that way today.

“(It was) a place where I, a faculty member who had grown up in another country, really wanted to be,” said Moore, director of the LGBTQ+ curriculum. “(Now) it’s hard to ask someone to move here when they don’t have access to the full range of health care they might need.”

Continued in June Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, Moore and other professors wondered how the decision would affect them. In September, another faculty member sent him the University human resources page, which informed them that they no longer had abortion insurance – and it had been that way for longer than they thought.

Moore was soon told that their general insurance stopped covering abortion in 2017, when Texas banned insurers from including abortion coverage in comprehensive health insurance plans, according to American Civil Liberties Union. However, many faculty members were unaware of this insurance change as of 2017.

“Few professors, including knowledgeable professors, knew this information was available,” Moore said. “With a big employer like UT, you would think that (we) would be able to negotiate accessible and comprehensive health care coverage. But that was not the case) “.

“We would have assumed that (our insurance) would cover a full range of reproductive health care, because it’s supposed to be good insurance,” Moore said. “The anti-abortion lobby has been so tenacious and tried to undermine rights. I’m not surprised to hear that (cover)…was taken down without much fanfare.

University faculty members have UT selection insurance, a self-funded scheme administered by Texas BlueCross and BlueShielda statewide health insurer.

Full-time teachers can access insurance services for free, with additional family costs to their plan. Services include birth control and reproductive health services through Ovia Health and Progynybut these services only cover abortion in certain life-threatening cases allowed HB 1280.

Dana Johnson, a graduate student in public policy, came to Texas because it was “the place to get involved in this work.” She said confusing insurance plans add a layer of difficulty to life in Austin.

“When you’re trying to find abortion care and figure out your next steps, insurance is just one of many things you need to understand, and that’s hard,” Johnson said.

Lauren Gutterman, an associate professor of American studies, considered herself grateful that her partner had undergone fertility treatment before the 2017 insurance change, because they would have had insurance coverage if something went wrong. the process.

“The University doesn’t do a great job of communicating,” Gutterman said. “It also means I wasn’t doing a great job educating myself.”

Moore said the increasingly restrictive rulings are “heartbreaking”.

“Students in my classes currently have less access to abortion than I did when I was a teenager in the 1980s,” Moore said. “One in four people of childbearing age in the United States have an abortion at some point in their reproductive lives. It’s health care.