intro: Michigan Wednesday became the ninth state to restrict private and public insurance plans from offering abortion coverage, with some of them requiring employers and individuals who want abortion coverage to purchase an additional supplemental policy, even in the case of rape or incest.
The citizens' initiative was brought to the state legislature by conservative, anti-abortion group Right to Life, which collected more than 300,000 signatures to place the legislation before lawmakers. Conservative lawmakers were the driving force of approval for the initiative, which passed in a 62-47 vote in the House and 27-11 in the Senate, almost entirely down party lines.
The veto-proof law will go into effect in March, without the signature of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who previously vetoed similar legislation. The law prohibits all insurance companies from providing coverage for the medical procedure, unless a women's life is at risk, without the additional purchase of a supplemental policy, also known as a rider.
Here are eight additional states where you might need additional abortion insurance:
quicklist: title: 1. Idaho text: The Gem State placed limitations on insurance benefits for elective abortions in 1983. The statute enacted by the state government requires that all individual nongroup or subscriber insurance policies exclude coverage for elective abortion. The state does allow insurance providers to offer coverage for the medical procedure with the purchase of an additional premium, or rider.
The state statute defines elective abortion as for "any reason other than to preserve the life of the female upon whom the abortion is performed," therefore allowing insurance providers to extend abortion insurance coverage, for no extra charge or policy purchase, to a woman whose life is at risk.
quicklist: title: 2. Kansas text: The Kansas law prohibits insurance companies from offering abortion coverage as part of general health plans, except when a woman's life is at risk. Under the law, patients who want abortion coverage must buy supplemental policies, which provide additional coverage for abortion.
The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law and sued the state in August 2011, arguing that the state's real intention was to create obstacles for women seeking abortions, but a judge ruled in September 2011 that the ACLU did not provide enough evidence to support its claim, and the law remains intact.
quicklist: title: 3. Kentucky text: The Kentucky statute regulating insurance providers' coverage of abortion has been in effect in the Bluegrass State since July 1984.
Under the law, no health insurance provider in the state is allowed to provide coverage for an abortion, unless it is "necessary to preserve the life of the female upon whom the abortion is performed." Coverage for the medical procedure can be purchased for an additional premium, also known as a rider, though insurance providers.
quicklist: title: 4. Missouri text: Missouri enacted its abortion insurance law in 1983. The law requires elective abortions to be covered through insurance plans by the purchase of an optional rider, which requires subscribers to pay an additional premium if they wish to receive elective abortion coverage. Under the law, an elective abortion is defined as "an abortion for any reason other than a spontaneous abortion or to prevent the death of the female upon whom the abortion is performed."
In 2010, the state government went a step further in its regulation of abortion insurance coverage, and required that health insurance exchanges in the state not offer coverage for elective abortions.
quicklist: title: 5. Nebraska text: The Mandate Opt-Out and Insurance Coverage Clarification Act was enacted by the Nebraska state legislature in January 2011. Under the law, health insurance plans are prohibited from providing coverage for abortions, except through an optional rider to the policy, which is paid only by the insured.
The state will allow public funds, and general insurance plans, to cover abortion procedures if "it is necessary to prevent the death of a woman."
The Nebraska law also opts out of allowing qualified health insurance plans that cover abortions to participate in health insurance exchanges in its state.
quicklist: title: 6. North Dakota text: Since 1979, North Dakota has had a law prohibiting insurance companies from providing coverage for abortions. The law states that no health insurance company can provide coverage for abortions, "including the elimination of one or more unborn children in a multifetal pregnancy."
The law does allow residents to purchase an optional rider, in addition to their regular insurance coverage, which must be paid for by an additional premium.
There is one exception to the North Dakota law. If an abortion is necessary to prevent the death of a woman, insurance companies are allowed to cover the procedure as part of general coverage.
quicklist: title: 7. Oklahoma text: Oklahoma restricts insurance companies from providing abortion coverage, unless additional coverage is purchased through an optional rider. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the state does allow insurers to provide coverage for abortions in the case of "a spontaneous miscarriage, to prevent the death of the woman or when the pregnancy resulted from rape reported to the proper law enforcement authorities or when the pregnancy resulted from incest committed against a minor and the perpetrator has been reported to the proper law enforcement authorities."
In 2011, Oklahoma prohibited health insurance plans offered in the Oklahoma exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act from providing coverage for elective abortions.
quicklist: title: 8. Utah text: Utah is the only state, out of the nine states that regulate abortion insurance coverage, that doesn't allow subscribers to purchase additional supplemental coverage for elective abortions.
In 2011, the Insurance Amendments Relating to Abortion went into effect in the state which prohibited insurers from covering elective abortions. The law does have five exceptions that allow insurance providers to cover the medical procedure. One, if the woman's life is endangered, two, if her health is severely compromised, three in the case of rape, four in the case of incest and, five, in the case of fetal impairment.