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PA gov. signs bill banning abortion coverage on state exchange

On Monday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law a bill that bans abortion coverage on the state’s healthcare exchange.

Pennsylvania is among the 27 states that have opted to defer the responsibility of developing and running a local benefits marketplace where individuals and employers will be able to shop for and purchase insurance coverage beginning in 2014.

Under the terms of HB818, plans sold on the state’s healthcare exchange will be allowed to cover abortion costs only in the cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. The state will have the authority to ban plans that do not meet this criteria.

Quoting research from the Guttmacher Institute, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported 20 other states have implemented legislation with similar restrictions on abortion coverage on their respective insurance marketplaces.

“Public resources should not be used to support abortion services,” House Majority leader Mike Turzai said. “Through this legislation, now law, we continue the fight to protect life and shut the back door to government-subsidized abortions.”

Meanwhile, Andy Hoover, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Gazette the move marks a new effort to restrict healthcare for women.

“The state has never before prohibited a private insurance company from covering abortion for a private customer when the customer pays with their own money.”

The law does do not apply to plans that are sold outside the public exchange.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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