The Congressional Pro-Life Caucus: Wednesday, the D.C. HealthLink posted a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) clarifying which plans on the D.C. HealthLink will cover elective abortions and which ones will not. This information is consistent with information from other sources. The FAQ says:
Question: Which health plans offered through DC Health Link include coverage for elective abortions and which plans do not?
Answer: Health plans that do not provide coverage for elective abortions include all Aetna health plans, as well as the multi-state plans (MSP) offered by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (only the plans that include “Multi-State Plan” in their name). All health plans offered by Kaiser Permanente, United Healthcare, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield plans that do not include “Multi-State Plan” in their name include coverage for elective abortions.
Background: This FAQ was made available in response to an article by Anna Higgins, Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. Anna tried to identify which plans in the D.C. HealthLink excluded abortion. Telephone representatives for the D.C. HealthLink erroneously informed Anna that all plans on the D.C. exchange include elective abortion. When Anna published her article about her experience, she was quickly contacted by D.C. officials who apologized, gave the information included in the FAQ, and informed her that their staff would be retrained on the subject. The FAQ is a step in the right direction although abortion coverage is still not easily identifiable when browsing plans on the D.C. exchange.
Such lack of transparency regarding abortion coverage is not isolated to D.C. It has proven to be a nearly universal problem in the exchanges. Even Secretary Sebelius was unable to give a clear answer on the subject when asked by Rep. John Shimkus at the Energy and Commerce Hearing yesterday. To address this problem, Rep. Chris Smith has introduced the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act”, H.R. 3279. This bill would reverse the secrecy clause in the ACA and require that all plans on the exchanges disclose whether or not the plan includes abortion. If the plan includes abortion, the plan must also disclose the amount of the abortion surcharge.
Question: Which plans in West Virginia cover abortion and which do not? Does anyone know?