Senate pro-life chair criticizes proposed ACA abortion billing rule

Under Section 1303 of the health care law, insurance providers of “qualified health plans” [QHP] on the exchanges had to collect separate premium payments for coverage of elective abortions, to ensure that federal subsidies did not pay for abortions.

The Hyde Amendment, federal policy since 1976, prohibits funding of most abortions in Medicaid; the ACA policy mirrored the longstanding Hyde Amendment policy.

A Government Accountability Office report in 2014 found that many insurers were ignoring requirements to properly segregate abortion coverage funds.

The Trump administration, in 2019, required that customers be sent separate health insurance bills for abortion coverage, and that payments go into separate accounts, in order to adequately prohibit funding of abortions on the exchanges. Three federal courts halted that rule from going into effect, however.

The new rule, which will be published on July 1, would require only a single bill and payment of federally-covered services, including abortion coverage. It “proposes repeal of separate billing requirements related to the collection of separate payments for the portion of QHP premiums attributable to coverage for certain abortion services.”

One legal analyst called the rule change a “gift to the abortion industry.”

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