Obamacare Plans Will Have to Separate Abortion Coverage Bills

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration wants Obamacare insurers to send patients separate bills each month for the portion of their policies that covers abortion.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to send separate invoices for the part of plan members’ monthly premiums that cover abortion, in a proposed rule published Wednesday afternoon.

Law prohibits using federal tax money to pay for abortions except in cases of rape or incest or when the woman’s life is at risk. That includes Obamacare’s subsidies that reduce the monthly premiums for people with low incomes.

To prevent those tax credits from going toward abortion coverage, the Affordable Care Act specified that individual and small group health plans that cover abortion should collect separate payments for the chunk of premiums -- a minimum of $1 -- that goes toward those services. The Trump administration said this part of the law has been inadequately enforced.

About 1.3 million people are enrolled in health plans offered by 75 insurers that cover abortions and would be affected by the policy, according to CMS. “This rule could significantly increase the administrative burden” for those plans, the agency said, with aggregate annual costs of about $1.6 million.

A spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans said the organization is still reviewing the rule.

Separately, the Trump administration finalized rules Wednesday to exclude some employers from the requirement to provide contraceptive coverage on religious or moral grounds, an exemption that it said should affect no more than 200 employers.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.