Insurance plan

Does your insurance plan cover abortions? In Nevada, probably not.

At least 7 in 10 of Nevada’s insured population have health plans that do not cover elective abortions.

This is because they are either federally insured or receive subsidies subject to federal abortion spending bans.

For decades, few health insurance plans covered abortion in America. Policies passed by Congress during those same decades prohibit the use of federal funds for abortion services. Critics say these policies are particularly damaging to the economic well-being of low-income people and people of color.

“It’s definitely a matter of economics and a matter of fairness,” said Lindsey Harmon, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada. “When you ask people to pay for abortion costs, transportation and child care — those island costs associated with abortion — you make it harder to access care.”

Nevada residents are not eligible for a comprehensive plan that covers abortion if their health coverage is provided by the federal government. The prohibition applies to persons covered by Medicaid, all federal employees, from the Postal Service to the Peace Corps to all federal agencies, and members of the military.

Plans established under the Affordable Care Act also do not cover abortions for those receiving income-tested federal subsidies.

The Hyde Amendment, first enacted in 1977 as part of a Medicaid appropriations bill, prohibits federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when a person’s life is in danger. The restriction was later extended to apply to other health programs that receive federal funding, including the Indian Health Service and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The Hyde Amendment does not prohibit states from using their own funds to cover abortion, and 16 states do. Nevada is not one of them..

“States like Nevada are running out of Medicaid dollars. Both at the federal level and at the state level. It’s a pervasive problem here and I think everyone agrees that Medicaid rates are lower than they should be“, Harmon said. “For a long time, the state of Nevada has been very fiscally conservative with its dollars, and unfortunately it hasn’t caught up with demand.”

Persons insured through their employer in collective markets or self-insured persons, as well as those covered by the ACA, represent 49% of the insured population.

About 11% of the state’s population is uninsured.

In Nevada, 40% of the state’s insured population is directly covered by federal plans, including Medicaid/CHIP, Medicare, and Tricare/VA Health Care (military health insurance plans), which are governed by provisions similar to those of the ACA and are all subject to the Hyde Amendment, according to the 2021 Insurance Market Report to the Legislature by the Nevada Division of Insurance (DOI). The DOI does not break down the insured population by gender or age.

Residents with restricted access to abortion under Medicaid coverage were more likely to continue their pregnancies, spend more time seeking an abortion, report more financial barriers, and were more likely to report having to collect money to travel for an abortion, according to a 2021 national cohort study.

The Hyde Amendment is criticized for having a disproportionate impact on black and Hispanic and low-income women by the ACLU, the Guttmacher Institute, and other groups committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and around the world.

Those who used these income-based health plans, putting the average cost of medical abortion — anywhere between $535 to $1,600 or more depending on condition and provider — financially out of reach.

Half of all pregnancies are unintended in the United States and the majority of women pay at least something out of pocket. according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Large group insurers, which represent 10% of Nevada’s insured population, are not subject to the provisions of the ACA, and preliminary submissions from the state Department of Insurance note that these insurers have expanded their coverage since the ruling. Dobbs.

But less than one in 10 women used their private insurance to pay for an abortion, with half of those women saying their insurance didn’t cover it and a quarter saying they weren’t sure if their insurance covered it. according to a 2011 study of women seeking abortions.

Even if a person’s insurance covers abortion, there has been a decline in facilities accepting any insurance, according to a study before the Dobbs rulingwho concluded that “the presence of restrictions on the use of insurance perpetuates economic and racial disparities in health care.

The Biden Administration excluded the amendment health care budget proposals, and while the law is symbolic (Congress should vote to repeal the amendment), it sets the tone for the direction the administration wants to go, Harmon said.

“It sets the stage for Congress to act if the election is fought in our favor,” Harmon said. ” It was time. This is a significant change, especially in light of Roe’s overthrow. It showed how taking this decision for granted has allowed Congress to open its eyes to the real impact this is having on the lives of real people on a regular basis.