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Catholic Couple Drops Lawsuit Over Concerns About Marketplace Abortion Coverage

Catholic Couple Drops Lawsuit Over Concerns About Marketplace Abortion Coverage

December 3, 2014 — A Connecticut couple last month agreed to drop a lawsuit against the state's health insurance marketplace after the exchange began including plans that do not include abortion coverage during the 2015 open enrollment period, the Connecticut Mirror reports (Radelat, Connecticut Mirror, 12/1).

Background

While the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) requires marketplaces in all states to include at least one multistate plan that does not cover abortion services by 2017, Connecticut did not have any such plans during the initial open enrollment period.

Barth and Abbie Bracy had filed a federal lawsuit in May alleging that the couple was forced to pay an "abortion surcharge" that is included in the premiums of every plan offered through the state's marketplace. Specifically, the Bracys, who are Catholic, claimed that the ACA violates both the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (PL 103-141) and the Connecticut Religious Freedom Restoration Act, among other allegations (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/6).

Agreement Details

The state's marketplace, called Access Health, reached an agreement with the Bracys on Nov. 19, according to the Mirror.

In the agreement, Access Health said that representatives for the marketplace "will be informed which plans do not include coverage of abortions ... so that they may inform customers seeking such a plan of the availability of these plans." However, an insurance broker with Access Health said consumers would have to review each marketplace plan to determine whether it covers abortion services (Connecticut Mirror, 12/1).