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The Daily Tar Heel

Explain abortion money: Abortion exemption was proper, but answers regarding premiums are unsatisfying

We like the element of choice in the UNC system’s decision to let students opt out of abortion coverage and the abortion coverage pool. Abortion is a contentious issue, and allowing students choice is the right thing to do.

But the option to opt out of abortion coverage has resulted in some less-than-satisfying explanations from UNC and Pearce & Pearce — the company offering the mandated insurance.

Students who opt out of abortion pay exactly the same rate as students who choose to be covered. The fact that the rate is the same obviously raises unsettling questions for those opposed to the coverage.

Abortion, whether you consider it a valid medical procedure or not, has a monetary cost.

So many students were understandably surprised, confused and perhaps even angry to find that opting out of abortion coverage did not change their insurance premium.
UNC states that the cost of abortion coverage does not make a difference in the cost of the insurance plan in general.

But students are not insurance actuarial experts. If UNC wants us to be satisfied with this answer then they need to provide a more complete explanation.

UNC and Pearce & Pearce should better explain how health insurance premiums work. It is hard to demand transparency from Pearce & Pearce, which is a private company. But UNC is a public institution and should do more to inform students about how its insurance coverage works — especially since it is requiring students to be insured.

Adequate transparency requires a comprehensible explanation for those who do not understand how they are not still, in fact, paying for abortion coverage or subsidizing others’ coverage.

UNC’s inattentiveness toward those who are concerned about abortion coverage is not acceptable. UNC should release more information about how abortion coverage factors into the cost of student insurance plans.

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