Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Affordable Care Act allows health insurance companies to include abortion coverage in the health plans they offer on exchanges. Twenty-six states banned coverage of elective abortion in all plans sold on their exchanges. North Carolina also has life affirming legislation that does not allow abortion coverage on any of its insurance exchanges. However, 24 states plus the District of Columbia allow abortion to be covered through their ACA plans -- and worse, eight of these states and the District of Columbia only offer plans that cover abortion.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a new regulation saying that if an issuer of health plans offers plans that cover abortion, it must also offer at least one otherwise identical plan that does not cover abortion.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has filed written comments applauding HHS for this proposal. But the USCCB has also urged HHS to make the proposed regulation stronger in two ways. First, HHS should modify the regulation to ensure the availability, at every benefit level, of plans that do not cover any abortion, elective or otherwise. Second, HHS should require clear and conspicuous notice to consumers indicating whether or not a plan covers abortion, so they can make a well-informed decision.
Please click on the link below today to submit a comment in support of these regulatory changes:
† Luis Rafael Zarama, J.C.L.
Bishop of Raleigh