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Federal Government

Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion


Federal law imposes unnecessary burdens on consumers who purchase and plans that offer abortion coverage in health-insurance exchanges. While the Affordable Care Act permits insurance plans participating in state exchanges to offer abortion coverage, restrictions in the law stipulate that plans covering abortion care beyond the very limited conditions allowed by the Hyde amendment must segregate monies used for those services from all other funds.  Additionally, individuals who purchase a plan that includes comprehensive abortion coverage must make two separate premium payments. P.L.111-148, 111th Cong. (2010).


Every year since 1995, Congress has passed a spending bill that bars federal employees from choosing a health plan that provides insurance coverage for abortion.  The law has exceptions only to save a woman's life, or in cases of rape or incest; it has no exception for a woman's health. P.L. 111-117, 111th Cong. (2009). 

Additional Laws Pertaining to Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Private employer-sponsored health plans offered to non-federal employees are required to provide abortion coverage only for cases in which the life of the woman is endangered. 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e(k) (Original Statute Enacted 1964; Relevant Provision Enacted 1978).  

While a private employer's insurance plan is not required to cover the cost of abortion care (except in the case of life endangerment), if an employer decides to do so, it must do so in the same manner and to the same degree that it covers other medical conditions.  Any other medically related fringe benefits, such as sick leave, which are provided for other medical conditions, must also be provided for abortion care.  29 C.F.R. Pt.1604, App. (EEOC Guidelines) (Q & A 35,37).

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