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HomenewsThe Murphy Administration Has Proposed That Some Health Plans Be Required to...

The Murphy Administration Has Proposed That Some Health Plans Be Required to Cover Abortions.

In a report to Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders, the state Department of Banking and Insurance advocated requiring state-regulated health insurance companies to cover abortions.

The report says the abortion coverage mandate, which comes six months after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to ban the procedure, is needed to avoid confusion among consumers who don’t know what their plan covers, align with medical experts’ view that abortion is essential to reproductive health, and remove the cost barrier for residents who can’t afford an abortion.

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In January, Murphy, a Democrat, approved legislation authorizing the Government of Banking and Insurance to mandate abortion coverage if a department review found it necessary. Murphy and lawmakers received Marlene Caride’s 11-page report the day before Thanksgiving.

“State law preserves the right to terminate a pregnancy without government interference,” the report states. Thus, abortion should be covered by health insurance as part of comprehensive reproductive care coverage.

New Jersey would be the seventh state to mandate private health insurance abortion coverage.

The new rule would not affect all plans. New Jersey regulates only state Medicaid, individual, small employer, and large employer markets, and state and school employee health plans. The New Jersey Association of Health Plans says less than 20% of residents have state-regulated commercial health plans.

The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights research group, reports that about one million American women get abortions annually.
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The group reports 48,110 abortions in New Jersey in 2017.

Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) said the legislation will “help to remove the financial obstacles to receiving reproductive care for people around the state.”

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“The post-Roe world will continue to challenge us to find new ways to extend access, and assuring insurance coverage is one way we can lessen the burden on individuals and providers,” Ruiz added.

Murphy and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin declined to comment.

New Jersey Right to Life executive director Marie Tasy termed it “disgraceful” that New Jersey wants to join the few states mandating abortion coverage, fearing it will encourage more women to have abortions.

Sickening. Tasy claimed women and children would suffer.

The research asserts that mandating abortion coverage would not raise premiums “in any substantial way” due to savings from not paying claims for prenatal and postnatal care and births.

The study states insurance companies told the Department of Banking and Insurance that the premium impact was zero to 0.1%.

The Department of Banking and Insurance collected public input, estimated financial consequences, and examined how comprehensive abortion care affects women seeking abortions before releasing the study.

The paper claims the rule would standardize individual, small company, and large employer insurance markets. Carriers can now cover all abortions, limit coverage to rape or incest, or protect the mother. The report indicates consumers may not understand their plan.
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According to the paper, mandating abortion coverage would also eliminate the financial barrier for low-income women.

The research states that in 2020, the median patient charge for a pharmaceutical abortion was $560 and $575 for a first-trimester surgical abortion. Third-trimester abortions cost $895.

According to the survey, unaborted women are more likely to raise children alone, live in poverty, and struggle to pay for food, housing, and transportation.

The proposed legislation would not eliminate abortion out-of-pocket payments, as Murphy and abortion rights activists want. It exempts religious employers.

Five of the seven states that require abortion coverage in private health insurance plans require no copayments.

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Brittany Holom-Trundy, the senior policy analyst at the left-leaning think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective, called the proposed regulation a “really important starting step to explain why it’s urgent to mandate abortion coverage” but urged lawmakers and the Murphy administration to cover all patient costs.

“Whether it’s insured or not, those who need it will seek out health care,” she said. “We still have gaps because people are sliding through.”

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