According to World News Corp., Health insurance companies in California may not refuse to cover the cost of abortions, state insurance officials have ruled. The decision is a reversal of policy stemming from the decision by two Catholic universities not to fund elective abortions through their employee health plans.
Although the federal Affordable Care Act does not compel employers to provide workers with health insurance that includes abortion coverage, California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) Director Michelle Rouillard said in a letter to seven insurance companies on Friday that the state Constitution and a 1975 state law prohibits them from selling group plans that exclude the procedure. Rouillard said her department had “erroneously approved or did not object” to a small number of health insurance policies that excluded abortions.
The Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) and Alliance Defending Freedom, sent a letter to Rouillard on Friday saying that under federal law, California cannot force employers to cover elective abortions. The groups said they would file a civil rights complaint with the federal government unless the state reinstated its previous policy.
“Pro-life employers have the freedom to choose health insurance plans that do not conflict with their beliefs on the dignity of human life,” LLDF Legal Director Catherine Short said. “California cannot be allowed to discriminate against health plans that don’t cover elective abortions and force people to purchase coverage that conflicts with their convictions.”
We’ll keep you informed on the outcome of this latest ruling.
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