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Report: Majority of Women Cannot Access Abortion Coverage in ACA Marketplaces

Report: Majority of Women Cannot Access Abortion Coverage in ACA Marketplaces

January 23, 2015 — About 60% of U.S. women who qualify for tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) are unable to access a plan that covers abortion through the law's marketplaces, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released on Wednesday, The Hill reports.

Key Findings

The researchers found that in 31 states, women cannot obtain abortion coverage through marketplace plans either because their state has prohibited such plans from including it or because no insurers in their area are offering it.

According to the analysis, some states permit marketplace plans to include abortion coverage only in limited circumstances, such as when a woman's life is in danger or instances of rape or incest, while some do not permit the coverage in any circumstances.

The researchers said that rules requiring the separation of funds for abortion coverage from funds for other coverage could be discouraging insurers from offering abortion coverage.

They cited West Virginia as an example, noting that in the state, "the same insurance carrier that does not offer abortion coverage for individual policies is ... including abortion coverage in the group policies sold to small firms through the small group marketplace plans, where the accounting rules and reporting requirements do not apply" (Viebeck, The Hill, 1/21).