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Gov. Jay Inslee signs abortion insurance bill

UPDATED: Wed., March 21, 2018

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center left, is applauded after he signed a measure Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at the Capitol in Olympia, that requires Washington insurers offering maternity care to also cover elective abortions and contraception. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center left, is applauded after he signed a measure Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at the Capitol in Olympia, that requires Washington insurers offering maternity care to also cover elective abortions and contraception. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a measure that requires Washington insurers offering maternity care to also cover elective abortions and contraception.

In addition to linking abortion coverage with maternity care, the bill requires health plans issued or renewed after Jan. 1, 2019, to provide copayment- and deductible-free coverage for all contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as voluntary sterilization and any consultations or other necessary procedures.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner says Health Alliance Northwest Health Plan is the only insurer in the state that has restrictions on coverage for pregnancy termination, covering the procedure only in cases where the life of the mother is in danger, the fetus cannot live outside of the uterus, or in the case of rape or incest.

Laura Mabry, a spokeswoman for Health Alliance, said Wednesday that the group intends to make the changes necessary to follow the law once it takes effect.

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 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)
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