Abortion has been legal in Washington state since 1970 and must be covered by all state-regulated health plans that cover maternity services.
Insurance coverage for abortion
Washington state's Reproductive Parity Act requires all state-regulated health plans that cover maternity services to also cover abortion services, including medical abortion (pharmaceuticals used to terminate a pregnancy). If an employer objects to providing these services to their employees, the insurer must provide the services at no cost to the employees.
Read your health plan materials or contact your plan directly if you have questions about how to access abortion services.
As of June 9, 2022, additional types of providers (www.leg.wa.gov) may perform abortions, including physician assistants, advanced registered nurse practitioners and other providers acting within their scope of practice. Also, anyone helping someone get an abortion cannot be prosecuted.
There is currently one religiously-sponsored health plan (Providence Health Plan) in Washington that does not provide abortion coverage unless there is a severe threat to the mother or if the fetus cannot be sustained. All other abortions needed by a Providence policyholder are paid for by the Department of Health through its Increasing Access to Reproductive Choice service (www.doh.wa.gov). Policyholders who want to learn more should contact the program directly:
- Phone: 1-800-525-0127
- Email: ReproductiveChoice@doh.wa.gov
How to protect your privacy
State law (www.leg.wa.gov) gives you extra privacy protection for sensitive health care services, including abortion. Your health plan must send all communication about abortions to the email or physical address you provide. Health plans may not disclose your information, even to the person named first on the policy without your permission. But first, you need to tell your insurance company how to communicate with you, or they will send your information to that person.
If you want confidentiality, print this form (PDF, 229KB), fill it out and mail it to your health plan or call them directly and tell them you want confidentiality.
Abortion options for people without health insurance
Washington state provides abortion coverage for people who qualify for help. Apple Health (Medicaid) (www.hca.wa.gov) covers abortion services, post-abortion care and post-abortion family planning. If you do not have health insurance and do not qualify for Apple Health, you may get help from a clinic or the Northwest Abortion Access Fund (NWAAfund.org).
The Department of Health has more information on abortion services (www.doh.wa.gov) in Washington state.