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Washington State: Proposed Law Would Retain Insurance Coverage for Abortion

Robin Marty

The law would be a first in the nation to require insurance coverage of abortion.

While legislatures in many states across the nation are trying to pass laws that would force even private insurers to drop coverage for abortions, lawmakers in Washingtong are being asked to maintain coverage for abortion care that most women already have.

Via the Seattle Times:

State lawmakers will be asked this session to require private insurance plans to cover abortion, a mandate that likely would be the first of its kind in the nation.

Backed by abortion-rights advocates, the proposal would extend a 20-year-old mandate that insurance plans funded or administered by the state cover abortion if they cover maternity care.

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The new proposal is supported by Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Legal Voice. Hobbs said the measure wouldn’t cause “much controversy” because most private insurers already cover abortion, and the issue of state funding was settled with Initiative 120.

“We’re not talking about ending a health-care benefit, or adding one that is not already there,” said Hobbs. “It is ensuring what is already there.”

Washington is already one of the few states in the country in which Medicaid is allowed to cover abortions for low-income women, and abortion coverage is currently provided in most state and individual plans at this time.

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