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State Motion to Defend and Promote Abortion Entry in State-Regulated Well being Plans

By Rachel Swindle and Karen Davenport

Within the 2022 determination Dobbs v. Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom reversed the long-standing precedent of Roe v. Wade, taking away a beforehand acknowledged constitutional proper to abortion. Dobbs didn’t outlaw abortion companies, however the determination permits states to impose restrictions and bans beforehand deemed unconstitutional. Over the past yr, a number of states have restricted abortion entry or prohibited abortion companies fully. Different states have taken steps to protect abortion entry, resembling enshrining abortion rights in state constitutions. Along with defending the supply of abortion care, states can pursue focused insurance policies to develop entry to abortion companies in state-regulated medical health insurance plans.

Abortion Utilization, Price, and Protection As we speak


Abortion is a typical medical process; based on the latest evaluation by the Guttmacher Institute, almost one in 4 girls will terminate a being pregnant previous to age 45. For comparability, one in 4 girls will obtain a coronary coronary heart illness prognosis whereas one in eight girls shall be recognized with breast most cancers of their lifetime.

Price and Protection

Abortion prices fluctuate considerably based mostly on the kind of abortion (medicine or procedural), setting (free-standing clinic or hospital), trimester of being pregnant, and whether or not the affected person pays for the process themselves or by their medical health insurance. In 2020, median prices for self-pay sufferers had been $560 for first trimester medicine abortions, $575 for first trimester procedural abortions, and $895 for abortions within the second trimester. However prices might be a lot larger—generally 1000’s of {dollars}—for individuals who want hospital-based care to terminate a being pregnant.

Even insured sufferers could face these prices. A survey of abortion sufferers in non-hospital settings from 2021­–2022 discovered 11.4 % of respondents used personal insurance coverage to pay for abortion care although a 3rd of respondents had personal protection. In an earlier examine, the commonest motive privately insured sufferers cited for not utilizing their well being plan to pay for abortion care was that the process was not coated. In an extra indication that privately insured sufferers could not have protection for abortion care, KFF’s 2019 Employer Well being Profit Survey decided that 10 % of staff with employer-sponsored medical health insurance work for corporations that requested their well being plan or third-party administrator to exclude protection for abortion care in some or all circumstances. Customers coated by the Reasonably priced Care Act (ACA) Market additionally face insurance-related boundaries to abortion care. In 2020, shoppers in 33 states couldn’t entry a Certified Well being Plan (QHP) on the ACA Market that coated abortion.

States Can Defend and Promote Abortion Entry Inside State-Regulated Plans

States stay the first regulators of personal medical health insurance. Congress precluded the ACA from pre-empting state legal guidelines associated to abortion protection, apart from an present exemption for “self-funded” employer well being plans. Accordingly, states can promote abortion entry for residents enrolled in well being plans bought on the ACA Market in addition to “absolutely insured” employer plans by pursuing a variety of coverage modifications.

Requiring State-regulated Plans to Cowl Abortion

States can require QHPs and different state-regulated well being plans to cowl abortions. In accordance with the Guttmacher Institute, eight states at the moment require personal well being plans to cowl abortion companies. Eleven states limit abortion protection in all state-regulated plans, sometimes by limiting protection to circumstances resembling “life endangerment,” whereas one other 14 states particularly limit or prohibit