Abortion coverage still up for debate among states, insurers


Abortion coverage has been a hotly debated topic among states and insurers ever since the passing of the Affordable Care Act.

In states that have not banned abortion coverage, the plans sold on the marketplaces must use a portion of all funds to cover abortion services. By 2017, at least one multi-state plan that does not cover abortion must be made available to consumers in each state marketplace, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In five states without abortion coverage plans--Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont--there was no multi-state plans offered, KFF found, while all the marketplace plans included abortion coverage. That means those who wanted to purchase a plan that excluded abortion coverage did not have the option.

Additionally, KFF identified eight states that did not have laws excluding abortion coverage in 2014. In those eight states, no marketplace plans included abortion coverage. For 2015 plans, seven of the eight states still do not have marketplace plans which include abortion coverage.

What's more, because of certain laws and choices made by insurers, 31 states do not offer women abortion coverage through a marketplace plan, found KFF.

Back in November, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed regulation to make abortion coverage rules clearer for health plans in 2016.

Still, the debate continues. House Republican leaders were scheduled to vote on a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy but retreated after female GOP lawmakers expressed the bill's unfairness toward rape victims, reported the Wall Street Journal.  

Now, the House will vote Thursday on an alternative bill that would no longer allow federal dollars to fund an abortion, according to The Hill.

For more:
- here's the KFF report
- check out the WSJ piece
- read the The Hill article

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