The Roe v. Supreme Court Wade Could Affect Health Insurance Coverage

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Today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade has implications for health insurance coverage, according to healthinsurance.org.

The 6-3 ruling that nullifies nearly 50 years of a woman’s right to an abortion now leaves that decision up to each state. It is estimated that half of them have already put in place restrictions on abortion or should put restrictions in place.

“With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, access to abortion will vary more widely from state to state,” Louise Norris, analyst at healthinsurance.org, said in a statement. “State-level variations were already the norm for health insurance abortion coverage, especially for health plans purchased by individuals and small groups. The states that will now ban abortions were generally the same states that already banned abortion coverage on health plans purchased on the exchange or even on all state-regulated private health plans.”

For now, she said, most state health plans will continue to cover FDA-approved female contraception, including sterilization, long-acting contraception (IUDs and implants) and emergency contraception.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

There is wide variation in how states regulate health insurance coverage, healthinsurance.org said.

Twenty-five states have restrictions on abortion health coverage. In other states, insurance companies determine whether their plans will include coverage.

Six states — Oregon, New York, California, Washington, Illinois and Maine — require all state-regulated health insurance plans to cover abortions. In three of them – Oregon, New York and Illinois – the health plan must fully cover the costs, while health plans in the other three states may require the member to pay their normal deductible, co-pay and coinsurance.

There is unlikely to be a major change in how abortion is covered by health plans sold in Affordable Care Act marketplaces, Norris said.

THE GREAT TREND

The Supreme Court on Friday reversed 49 years of women’s right to abortion by siding with Mississippi Department of Health Agent Thomas E. Dobbs in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

In the 6-3 decision, Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion of the majority: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.

Alito said the Constitution does not confer the right to abortion. Abortion regulation is now a decision for the states, he said.

The Supreme Court case focused on Mississippi’s gestational age law, which generally prohibits abortion after the 15th week of pregnancy. several weeks before a fetus is considered viable outside the womb.

Chief Justice John Roberts said the issue in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is on whether all pre-viability bans on elective abortions are unconstitutional.

“In urging our review, Mississippi said its case was ‘an ideal vehicle’ to ‘reconsider the clear line viability rule,’ and that a judgment in its favor ‘would not require the Court to set aside. “Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey. Today, the Court nonetheless rules for Mississippi doing just that.

Dissenting, Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan said of the decision: “It says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights, strictly speaking. A state can force her to carry full-term pregnancy, even at the strongest personal and family A restriction on abortion, according to the majority, is permitted whenever it is rational, the lowest level of control known by law. , as the Court has often stated, the protection of fetal life is rational, states will feel free to enact all manner of restrictions.The Mississippi law at issue here prohibits abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. the decision of the majority, however, the law of another state might do so after ten weeks, or five or three or a or, again, from the moment of fertilization.”

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the author: SMorse@himss.org

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