Separation Anxiety: Abortion Funding & the Affordable Care Act

Timothy Jost: ” Under the ACA and the exchange regulations, people will learn whether a plan covers abortion in the same way they will learn about all the other features of available plans: through the Summary of Benefits and Coverage. The SBC is an eight-page, plain-language, comprehensive description of plan coverage, limitations, and exclusions. It is the tool through which all exchange enrollees will learn about and choose their plan. Plans must disclose in the SBC whether they cover abortions. No one is going to be duped into paying for elective abortion coverage they don’t want, because the only way to get such coverage is to request it.

Yes, the ACA and implementing regulations do prohibit plans from advertising in marketing materials that they offer abortion coverage—or that they offer the cheapest abortion coverage. But nothing prohibits plans from advertising that they do not cover abortions, nor will anything keep prolife groups from informing the public about plans without abortion coverage. In the exchanges, abortion coverage will almost certainly be far less common than it is today. It is lamentable that some prolifers cannot acknowledge that fact, choosing instead to take this moment as one more opportunity to malign a profoundly prolife law.”