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Illinois Attorney General joins call to repeal separate abortion billing

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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 11 attorneys general in a letter calling for a rule change on billing for abortion services.

Joining Raoul in filing the comment letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

The letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports a proposed rule that will reverse the 2019 changes to the compliance requirements of Section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The 2019 Separate Abortion Billing Rule (2019 Rule) required insurers participating in the state exchanges to send consumers two separate premium bills: one bill of at least $1 for abortion coverage and another bill for the remaining covered health benefits. Under the 2019 Rule, if consumers failed to pay the $1, they could potentially lose their coverage altogether. In today’s letter, Raoul and the attorneys general urged HHS to finalize a rule that is more consistent with Section 1303 by eliminating the option that allows insurers to bill patients separately for the portion of health insurance premiums attributable to abortion coverage.

“The 2019 rule put women at risk by limiting access to needed abortion care and even potentially losing their health care coverage completely,” said Raoul in a press release. “I will continue to defend access to quality health care and women’s rights to make their own reproductive health care decisions.”

In the comment letter, Raoul and the attorneys general explained that HHS’ proposed rule will protect consumers’ health insurance coverage. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many Americans to lose both their jobs and their health coverage. Now, as individuals and families enroll in health insurance through special enrollment periods, the proposed rule will ensure their coverage is not again put at risk.

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