By Michael Hiltzik
With minimal fanfare, California state officials have nixed an underhanded effort by two Catholic-affiliated universities and their insurers to deprive the universities’ employees of insurance coverage for abortions.
The move by the Department of Managed Health Care is one of the strongest statements in favor of women’s reproductive health rights you’re likely to hear from officials of any state, at a time when those rights are under systematic attack. So it’s proper to pay attention.
On Friday, the DMHC informed the state’s major health insurers by letter that provisions in health plans eliminating coverage of “voluntary” or “elective” abortions, or limiting coverage only to “medically necessary” abortions, violate state law and the state constitution.
A copy of the letter–this version sent to Anthem Blue Cross–can be found here. It says health plans in California are prohibited from “discriminating against women who choose to terminate a pregnancy. Thus, all health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally.”
Read more here.