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Does Insurance Cover Abortions?

Abortion or induced miscarriages can end up costing hundreds to thousands of dollars if you have to pay out of your own pocket, but will your health coverage cover the bill?

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Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Most insurance plans cover a wide range of women’s health services. Abortion is one service that is often contentious, however. Depending on where you live, coverage for services at an abortion clinic may be guaranteed with private insurance, available with some insurers, or banned completely. Here’s what you should know about abortion coverage before you request health insurance quotes for the coverage you need.

How Much Does an Abortion Cost Without Health Insurance?

An induced miscarriage can be done in two ways, depending on the stage of pregnancy. The most common option is a medication referred to as the “abortion pill,” which can be taken up to 10 weeks into pregnancy. A procedure performed at an abortion clinic is the second option for a pregnancy that has progressed further. The pill has a high success rate and allows patients to terminate the pregnancy at home, according to Planned Parenthood.

Abortions or induced miscarriages can be expensive. On average, an induced miscarriage that takes place before 10 weeks comes at a cost of $300 to $800. A second-trimester procedure can cost thousands. Many women also face additional out-of-pocket costs that include traveling to an abortion clinic, accommodations, child care, and lost wages. According to one study, half of the women who received an induced miscarriage spent at least 1/3 of their monthly income on the costs.

Paying for an Abortion Without Insurance

Planned Parenthood is one of the largest resources for family planning in the United States. Planned Parenthood professionals often charge less for services based on income. The center accepts major health insurance carriers. If you do not have insurance, you may qualify for a discounted fee scale under Title X. Planned Parenthood can also help you sign up for additional programs that can help pay for services such as the Family Planning Benefit Program or Medicaid.

Outside of Planned Parenthood assistance, you may qualify for coverage under your state’s Medicaid program to pay for services at an abortion clinic. Otherwise, you will likely need to pay out-of-pocket at the abortion clinic itself. There may be options available to you such as community health centers, depending on where you live.

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Does Health Insurance Cover Abortion?

Prior to the early 2000s, coverage for induced miscarriage was typical in insurance plans, but this has changed dramatically. While some states promote financial security and women’s health by ensuring health insurance plans offer coverage for abortion, this is not true everywhere. There are currently 9 states that forbid private insurance plans from covering this service, even when a woman has become pregnant due to incest or rape. This means your location plays a big role in your access to insurance that covers induced miscarriage.

In New York and California, every private plan must offer coverage for induced miscarriage services. New York law requires that any policy that provides surgical, hospital, or medical coverage also cover medically necessary induced miscarriage.

10 states restrict coverage in private insurance plans. These states include Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, North Dakota, Missouri, Kentucky, Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah. Nine of these states allow insurance companies to sell riders for coverage but Utah bans riders for induced miscarriage coverage. There are also states that ban abortion coverage completely, such as Texas, whose “Pro-Life Insurance Reform” measure prevents private insurers from covering this service.

Under the Affordable Care Act, induced miscarriage is excluded as an essential health benefit. States can choose to ban coverage in plans offered through the marketplace and 25 states have chosen to do so. There are also six other states with no coverage ban yet no plans with coverage through the marketplace. If your insurance policy covers induced miscarriage, the cost may be low or it may be covered fully without a copay.

What if You’re in a State that Doesn’t Offer Coverage?

If your plan covers abortion services but the state you are in does not offer what you need, then it may be possible to have coverage for the care you seek if you travel out of state. It is important to check with your health insurance provider prior to traveling to ensure that they will cover any abortion-related expenses incurred while away from home. In addition, there may be assistance available from local and national organizations that can help cover the cost of any necessary travel.

Does Health Insurance Cover Abortion Pills?

Some health insurance plans may cover abortion pills. It is important to check with your insurer to determine whether abortion pills are covered under your plan. State and local laws can also affect what coverage is available for abortion services. Depending on the state, some plans may not provide coverage for abortions; however, most insurers do offer coverage for medical expenses related to abortions, including abortion pills. If you have any questions about coverage for specific abortion services, including abortion pills, it’s best to contact your health insurer and ask them directly.

Does a Workplace Health Insurance Plan Cover Abortion?

The answer to whether a workplace health insurance plan will cover abortion depends on the state where the workplace is located and the plan purchased. In some states, workplace health plans are required to cover abortion services, while in others there may be religious exemptions. It is important to check with your employer or insurance provider to determine if abortion services are covered under your policy. If not, you may have other options such as purchasing additional coverage through a private insurer or using a public option such as Medicaid.

Abortion Laws By State

Check out this handy chart to view the abortion state laws.

Denies Coverage In Some Or All Private Plans

The only state where abortions are fully covered by Medicaid but denied in some or all private plans is Arizona.

Denies Coverage For All Or Most Abortions In Medicaid

There are a handful of states that deny coverage for all or most abortions in Medicaid. They are: Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Wyoming, and Washington DC.

Denies Coverage In Medicaid And In Some Or All Private Plans

Around 50% of states deny women coverage of abortion in Medicaid and in some or all private plans. They are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Includes Medicaid Coverage And Does Not Restrict Coverage In Private Plans

A significant amount of states include Medicaid coverage and do not restrict abortion coverage in private plans. They include Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusettes, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

Includes Medicaid Coverage And Requires Coverage In Private Plans

Only a few states include Medicaid coverage and require coverage of abortion in private plans. They are: California, New York, and Oregon.

Finding Private Health Insurance That Covers Abortion

If you need an abortion but your existing insurance does not cover it, or you do not have health insurance, you can purchase affordable private coverage. You can even have more than one health policy, in which case one will be a primary payer and the other a secondary policy. If one policy does not cover an induced miscarriage, the other policy can pay for the service.

If you do not have the money to pay for an induced miscarriage out-of-pocket, comparing free health insurance quotes can give you an idea of how much coverage will cost. In most cases, health insurance quotes will show that coverage is more affordable than the procedure. At First Quote Health, you can find a health insurance plan that covers all your needs today! Using the Firstquote Health platform, you can compare different plans side-by-side to determine which one meets your needs and budget. Firstuote Health also provides personalized advice from experienced agents who are available to answer any questions you may have about selecting a health plan. With FirstQuote Health’s easy-to-use platform, finding the right health insurance has never been easier.

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