University decides not to ban Medicaid for students after uproar

The campus is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Brigham Young University's campus in Idaho decided not to ban students from relying on Medicaid coverage, reversing a controversial decision the school made earlier this month.

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"The well-being of our students and their families is very important to us," administrators told students on Monday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. "We are grateful for the feedback we have received from our campus community and for the input of the local medical community. … We have decided that Medicaid, as it has in previous years, will meet the health coverage requirement at BYU-Idaho."

COLLEGES SWAMPED BY STUDENTS' DEMAND FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

The campus, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, requires students to have health insurance and caused an uproar after telling students that Medicaid would no longer count as primary insurance. Some students said they would have to drop out if forced to buy private health insurance.

BYU-Idaho has not fully explained the reasoning behind its Medicaid ban, but the decision came shortly after the state's Medicaid expansion. BYU-Idaho alluded to the change in an email last week, the Tribune reported.

Many states have implemented Medicaid expansion.

"Due to the health care needs of the tens of thousands of students enrolled annually on the campus of BYU-Idaho, it would be impractical for the local medical community and infrastructure to support them with only Medicaid coverage," BYU-Idaho said.

Students were relieved by the school's Monday night announcement.

"It feels like a huge weight off the shoulders," senior Kaleigh Quick told the Tribune. "We can go to school and not worry about the burden of health insurance."

She and her husband, Matt, were already pinching pennies to give their kids Christmas presents.

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BYU-Idaho is in Rexburg, a small town of about 25,000 people. BYU's main campus in Provo, Utah, never announced a similar Medicaid policy, the Tribune reported.

The university system was not immediately available to FOX Business for comment.

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