Today, Americans United for Life submitted comments on the Department of Health and Human Services’ interim final rule for group health plans and health insurance issuers relating to coverage of preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Affordable Care Act). AUL’s comments focus on the guidelines currently under development by HHS on “evidence-informed preventive care and screening” for women which must be covered by group health plans and health insurance issuers under the Affordable Care Act. These guidelines will be issued no later than August 1, 2011, and will include coverage requirements for medical care not already required by the Affordable Care Act.
This category of required coverage for women was added to the Affordable Care Act on December 3, 2009 through an amendment offered by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). AUL was and remains deeply concerned that HHS may categorize elective abortions or abortifacients as “preventive care,” thereby requiring private insurance companies to cover them. AUL’s comments make the following two points, and may be read below:
- Section 2713(a)(4) of the Affordable Care Act does not explicitly include elective abortions or abortifacients in “preventive care and screenings” for women, and the Senate floor debate over the addition of Section 2713(a)(4) to the Act demonstrates that they are not included, and;
- It would be inappropriate to require group health plans and health insurance issuers to cover elective abortions or abortifacients, including the recently-approved drug ella.
Click here for a PDF version of AUL’s comments.