Catholic university in Ohio drops student health insurance over contraception coverage


CINCINNATI (AP) -- A Roman Catholic university in eastern Ohio says it will drop student health insurance partly because of a new federal health care rule requiring religious-affiliated institutions' insurance plans to provide contraception coverage.

An official with Franciscan University in Steubenville said Wednesday that another reason for the decision was higher costs resulting from other provisions of the federal health care overhaul.

The school's vice president for advancement says the university, with 2,500 students, cannot include coverage of contraception services and products that are opposed by the Catholic Church.

Catholic officials and religious-affiliated institutions around the country continue to challenge the contraception coverage mandate in court.

The university says it will continue its employee insurance plan while it waits for the outcome of challenges to the federal rule, which begins August 2013.

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