WASHINGTON -- Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, is discontinuing its student health insurance plan in the upcoming school year in opposition to the Obama administration's mandate requiring most religious employers, including colleges, to provide no-cost contraceptive and sterilization coverage in its health insurance plans.
The school made the announcement to its students in mid-April and the news became public one month later when the university posted its campus health insurance policy on its website.
Media outlets announced that the university was the first Catholic college to drop students from its health insurance plan because of the contraception mandate required by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Michael Hernon, vice president of advancement, said university officials had not expected their decision to receive national media coverage.
When university students, alumni and benefactors were initially told of the change, he said, the reaction was "overwhelmingly supportive."