Section: News

Kenyon health insurance expands to cover abortion services

Kenyon announced on Feb. 7 that the student and faculty healthcare plan will expand to cover legally obtained abortions as part of comprehensive reproductive healthcare. The decision was made by the Benefits Advisory Committee in tandem with Kenyon’s Senior Staff. The new plan will go into effect for faculty on July 1 and students on Aug. 15.  

In an email to the Collegian, Vice President for Finance and Chair of the Benefits Advisory Committee Todd Burson clarified that the new expansions include standard copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. He added that Kenyon’s healthcare already meets, and will continue to meet, every federal standard for reproductive care, including coverage of other forms of reproductive care such as hormonal birth control, Plan B, IUD implantation and diaphragms.  

While Kenyon’s healthcare plan previously covered abortion services, coverage was restricted to cases where the abortion was medically necessary. According to both Burson and an article from the Office of Communications, a primary reason for the change was the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists policy statement on abortion, which reads: “All people should have access to the full spectrum of comprehensive, evidence-based health care. Abortion is an essential component of comprehensive, evidence-based health care.”

The policy change comes following last November’s election, in which the Ohio population voted to enshrine the right to reproductive care and abortion in the state constitution, as well as the June 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision, which repealed Roe v. Wade and relegated abortion protection to the state level. 

“It’s a different landscape now than where we were two years ago,” Vice President for Student Affairs Celestino Limas said in an interview with the Collegian, discussing the shift of legislation from the 2022 Dobbs decision to Ohio’s November election. “I think the College is very much aligned to be front-footed about, and administer care for the community [and] for their rights.” 

Limas added that a campus-wide message will be sent to students and employees at the College in the upcoming weeks. “There have been different employees at the College that have wanted us to expand and pursue this option,” Limas said. “We’re grateful for the community support and the community wanting to be aware of this.”

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