This week, Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the research arm of Susan B. Anthony List and Family Research Council (FRC) announced the results of their fifth annual comprehensive review of elective abortion coverage in Individual and Family health insurance plans offered on healthcare.gov and state-based exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Open enrollment began on November 1 and continues until December 15.
The groups’ 2019 fact sheet with detailed information and an interactive map are available online at ObamacareAbortion.com. The website was launched in 2014 as a resource to help consumers find pro-life health plans. Some of their key findings for the 2019 plan year include:
- Of all Individual and Family exchange plans in the 24 states and the District of Columbia that allow abortion coverage in exchange plans, an estimated 65 percent (650 plans) cover elective abortion – up from 53 percent (527 plans) in 2018.
- In eight states and the District of Columbia, 100 percent of Individual and Family plans on the exchange cover elective abortion. There is no pro-life option in these jurisdictions.
- In an additional five states, between 50 and 99 percent of plans cover elective abortion.
- 26 states have passed laws to opt out of elective abortion coverage in plans offered on the state exchange.
- Two insurance companies on the Colorado exchange, Bright Health and Elevate by Denver Health Medical, now clearly state that elective abortion is not covered in their 2019 plans after CLI documented their failure to disclose whether abortion was covered as required by federal law and requested enforcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
- In 2017, there were more than 200 Multi-State Plans (MSPs) nationwide; for 2019, only one state – Arkansas – offers MSPs. None of these plans cover elective abortion. Guaranteeing there would be at least one pro-life plan on the state exchanges was a stated goal of the Affordable Care Act – that promise has now all but collapsed.
- In 2018, an estimated 2.2 million people in states that have not opted out of abortion coverage are receiving a total of $11.2 billion in premium tax credits for plans that cover elective abortion.
Earlier this month HHS issued a new rule directing insurers selling Obamacare plans that cover elective abortion to collect a separate payment from all enrollees for that coverage, as required by law. Under the Obama administration, insurers were allowed to collect these payments in a single transfer of funds in violation of clear statutory language.
“Our research reveals that consumers across nearly half the country have even fewer pro-life policy options to choose from on their state health insurance exchanges in 2019. In several states and the District of Columbia, there are no pro-life plans offered at all,” said CLI President Chuck Donovan. “Given this pathetic situation, consumers at least deserve transparency as they shop the exchange for plans for themselves or their families. That’s why CLI and FRC established ObamacareAbortion.com and thoroughly update it each year: to serve consumers looking for plans they can purchase in good conscience, and to continually remind the public and policymakers that until longstanding pro-life protections are applied to Obamacare itself, American taxpayers are being forced to fund abortion on demand against their will, even if their own state opts out.”
“Over the process of updating the Obamacare Abortion website the unfortunate reality we found is that things have gotten worse. During the Obama administration we saw broken promises, a lack of transparency and adherence to the law, and a healthcare system that was programmed in such a way that it would continue to fund abortion coverage long after President Obama left office. No matter the transparency or lack thereof, ObamaCare is still forcing Americans to choose between their healthcare and their conscience. Abortion is not healthcare and the majority of Americans do not want their hard-earned tax dollars subsidizing insurance coverage that includes the taking of unborn human life. While the Trump administration is thankfully moving forward to untangle Americans from the abortion business, much work remains to be done,” Patrina Mosley, FRC’s Director of Life, Culture and Women’s Advocacy, said.