Abortions covered

State mandates health insurers to include elective abortion in group plans

Elective abortions are now covered by all group health insurance plans in California, as per mandate from the state Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC).

Last fall, Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount universities notified employees they would stop covering abortion in their health plans and offer supplemental coverage provided through a third party, according to The Associated Press. The move was cleared by the state.

In reaction, objecting employees and abortion-rights groups lobbied the women’s caucus of the State Legislature, which asked Gov. Jerry Brown to reverse the decision. The DMHC did so on Aug. 22. In a letter to insurers explaining the policy, which is effective immediately, Director Michelle Rouillard said “abortion is a basic health care service.”

Two groups opposing abortion, the Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom, threatened to file a federal civil rights complaint unless the state’s previous determination is reinstated.