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Supreme Court's abortion decision could have effects on health insurance

Courtesy of Kaiser Family Foundation

Many states already forbid companies from offering abortion-related coverage.

One of the ripples from Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision about abortion relates to health insurance.

Louise Norris is an analyst for Healthinsurance.org, a company that bills itself as an insurance watchdog. She says six states, including Washington and Oregon, require companies to cover abortion services. Half of them don’t allow abortion-related coverage.

“Some of those states still allowed private plans that are purchased by employers or purchased outside the exchange to cover abortion," she said.

Norris says she’s curious about the other 19 states and whether any of them will adjust their policies now that the court has released its decision.

She says Friday’s ruling could serve as a wake up call to some health insurance customers.

“This particular topic, abortion coverage, may be something people don’t pay attention to on their health plan until they need it. It maybe isn’t something they’re thinking about when they’re shopping, so I think, kind of like all aspects of health insurance, you really want to pay attention to the details of the plan you’re getting, particularly if you’re in a state where the state leaves it up to the insurance company," Norris said.

She says some private companies that self-insure, especially large corporations, will continue to offer abortion-related insurance or other services to their employees, even in states than ban abortion.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.