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BYU-Idaho stands by their decision to reject Medicaid

BYU- Idaho
BYU- Idaho

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Brigham Young University-Idaho released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying:

BYU-Idaho Statement, November 20, 2019.

Despite the recent outreach students are still dealing with the change.

On campus, Medicaid Expansion in Idaho passed with flying colors, "When I found out about the Medicaid Expansion and I realized that I'd be able to do that it was such a relief," said BYU- I student, Esther Spencer Rivas.

But, that relief for some BYU-I students, like Spencer Rivas, turned into concern when they found out the university would not be accepting Medicaid as an insurance option, with no clear reason why.

"A lot of people are just feeling really desperate. They're really concerned because you know we have Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the holidays coming up and they've been given about a month and a half to suddenly have hundreds to thousands of dollars potentially that they need to pay by January eighth or have a hold on their account," said Spencer Rivas.

The university only released a simple statement days later saying the university has decided not to accept the Idaho Expanded Medicaid program as an insurance waiver option for students, and that they are working with students on a case-by-case basis to help them with their healthcare options, but Spencer Rivas tells us, that when the students go in, the university hasn't been much help at all.

"It's been basically the same response we don't know either. We don't know why we can't tell you anything. Good luck."

Spencer Rivas is part of a group of students with Samuel Ruiz, who helped start a popular facebook page called "Accept Medicaid BYU-I", and a petition called 'Keep Medicaid an Acceptable Form of Insurance in BYU-Idaho" that has received more than six thousand signatures in five days, all an in effort to spark change.

"We want them to change it and bring back Medicaid coverage for the students that need it," said the petition's co-creator, Samuel Ruiz.

And the university apparently has remained silent on that petition.

"There has been no response," Ruiz said.

Wednesday afternoon, the university's statement, affirmed that they are not reconsidering their decision.

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Jilliana Colina

Jilliana is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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