Insurance plan helps pay for abortion

By Gus Bode

Female students worried about alternative surgeries may have a benefit they didn’t know about.

The student health insurance, which all students are covered by unless they have outside insurance and fill out a refund form, covers 80 percent of up to $500 for an alternative surgery per person.

James Hunsaker, insurance administrator, said this includes, but is not limited to, a surgical abortion.


But because the plan does not cover prescription pills, it also does not cover pills that would have the same effect as the surgery.

Hunsaker said the plan does not cover prescriptions because they wanted to make the plan as affordable to students as possible and if prescriptions were included the plan would be too costly.

He also said, although there are alternative surgeries for males that would be covered by the insurance, opting to use their insurance money to a woman wanting an abortion is not an option.

Hunsaker said he only sees between five and 10 abortion claims come through each year.

According to the health insurance plan, which can be found on the SIUC Web site, “any services rendered outside of the Student Health Center must have a referral by a Student Health Center provider.”

Hunsaker, however, said a patient doesn’t need a referral for this procedure.

Even though Hunsaker said he doesn’t see very many abortions turned in for insurance reimbursements, the Hope Clinic in Grannite City reports a majority of patients they see are between the ages of 18 and 25.


Sally Burgess, executive director for the Hope Clinic, said abortion costs range from $340 to $1,500.

That would mean that the least amount of money a student would have to pay for an abortion with the help of the student insurance would be $68.

Burgess said the clinic is always looking for ways to help women who would not be able to afford the procedure.

“College students often fall into that category. There is funding available for people who meet certain guidelines,” she said.

Some students said they believe the idea of student insurance covering procedures such as abortion is unnecessary.

Kumberly Milan, a senior from Chicago studying elementary education, said she does not think this operation should be covered.

“It’s something you are doing to yourself,” she said. “I think it should be the responsibility of the two people involved.”

Christian Holt can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268 or [email protected].