BYU-Idaho switches course, will accept Medicaid

Brigham Young University-Idaho has reversed a controversial decision, and says it will again accept Medicaid as a form of health insurance.

“We apologize for the turmoil caused by our earlier decision,” the university said in a statement emailed to students Monday night, as reported by James Dawson of Boise State Public Radio.

The Rexburg-based university — affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — requires its full-time students to have health insurance.

BYU-Idaho had accepted Medicaid as health coverage for the past two academic years, and it’s unclear when the university decided not to accept Medicaid, Dawson previously reported. News of the decision broke nearly two weeks ago, sparking an outcry from students.

But the news came as Idaho is expanding Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands of residents, a year after voters approved a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid.

The BYU-Idaho statement reads, in part:

“The well-being of our students and their families is very important to us. We are grateful for the feedback we have received from our campus community and for the input of the local medical community. We apologize for the turmoil caused by our earlier decision.

“We have decided that Medicaid, as it had in previous years, will meet the health coverage requirement at BYU-Idaho. Because of its limited capacity and scope of services, our Health Center, has not been a Medicaid service provider. This will not change. We are grateful to the healthcare professionals in the area who provide services to Medicaid recipients.”



Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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