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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

College student health plans could cover abortion

From staff reports

OLYMPIA — College student health plans would be required to cover abortions if they cover maternity services, under a bill passed by a Senate committee this week.

“This is an attempt to make sure that the student health plans that offer coverage for maternity care must also provide coverage for abortions,” said bill sponsor Rep. My-Linh Thai, D-Bellevue.

When the Office of the Insurance Commissioner was working on implementing the 2018 Reproductive Parity Act, they realized that student plans were not covered, she said.

Health plan carriers can claim a conscience or religious exemption to abortion and would still be able to provide maternity services, Thai said. Current law allows that if a carrier for most insurance plans provides its enrollees with a written notice of why the services aren’t covered and gives them information on how to access abortion services.

Those provisions would be added to health plans for college students under the bill, which has already passed the House.