Abortions Not Covered By Group Health, But Not Charged Either

Aug 29, 2013

Seattle’s nonprofit health care system, Group Health, has said they won’t be offering abortion coverage in the new health care exchange.

But they also said women will be able to get an abortion without paying more.

Washington State’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler tried to clear up the confusing stance.

Group Health made a decision very early that they would not include abortion services inside the exchange in the individual market. Part of that was because guidance from the federal government was slow in coming; there was uncertainty in how they would do the accounting for covering abortion services. So it was easier for them to not specify that they would cover it.

Kreidler went on to say that it’s likely Group Health will discreetly keep women from having to pay extra for abortion services.

What they would wind up doing is that when somebody has submitted a bill, a wink and say – you really don’t need to pay this. The net effect is that very few people accessing abortion services will be charged for those services. They can’t say that because then would run afoul of insurance commissioner’s office for offering a service and then not accounting for it.