Abortion insurance ban considered for some NC policies

Health insurance care reform confusion debate

The state is looking into stopping private health plans from being able to provide this coverage.

The state of North Carolina is weighing a proposed law that would stop abortion insurance coverage from being included in the health plans that are sold within the online exchange starting in October 2013.

This would not be a regulation for all insurers in the state, but only those who plan to sell over the public marketplace.

Limiting the private abortion insurance coverage is permitted under the federal healthcare reform laws that require nearly all Americans to purchase a health plan or pay a fine. Twenty other states have already made the choice to apply this limitation. Legislation in North Carolina is now being considered for the further restriction of this coverage in certain circumstances.

Healthcare reforms debates over health abortion insurance exchangesThe abortion insurance would be banned when it is an elective in private policies that are sold on the exchange.

Both the Senate and the House have passed a pair of competing measures, and the final language of the law is currently being negotiated. The healthcare overhaul law requires that each state have its own online marketplace where individuals and small businesses can shop for their mandated private health plans. Individuals can then compare and purchase their own coverage and, when eligible, obtain government subsidies that are based on their household earnings.

As is the case among many of the states where there is ongoing opposition from Republican state governments, North Carolina chose not to create its own health insurance exchange, but have instead handed that responsibility over to the federal government. However, the individual states are still allowed to prohibit abortion insurance coverage in the private medical plans that are sold through these marketplaces.

The only situation in which abortion insurance coverage must be provided through the plans that are sold on the exchanges are in circumstances when the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, or when it is deemed a necessary procedure for preserving the life of the mother. The federal law also says that it is possible to set up the plans in a way that when the coverage is an option, beneficiaries are charged separately and those funds are kept separately from the taxpayer money such as the government subsidies that assist in making the overall health coverage affordable.

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