February 7, 2014
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler congratulated the Washington state House of Representatives on passing the Reproductive Parity Act this week and now urges the Senate to do the same.
“For everything the Affordable Care Act has to offer — covering young people up until the age of 26, covering contraception without a co-pay, and creating affordable coverage options — it does not guarantee women full access to all reproductive services, specifically abortion care,” said Kreidler. “The Reproductive Parity Act is a common sense bill that ensures that a woman, not her boss, her insurance plan or her legislator, can make her own medical decisions.”
Currently, most insurance plans in Washington state cover abortion, but they’re not required to do so. New federal laws require health insurers to comply with stricter standards when they opt to cover abortion. As a result, some health plans in Washington have dropped these services, citing confusion about how to comply. The Reproductive Parity Act would set clearer standards for insurers in Washington, while maintaining existing protections for women, doctors, and insurers who choose not to use or provide these services.
“We have a long history in our state of upholding reproductive privacy and freedom and ensuring that women have the ability to make decisions that are best for themselves and their family,” said Kreidler. “Whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy is a difficult decision that should be left to the woman facing this choice, with the counsel of her doctor.”
“I urge the Senate to take quick action and pass the Reproductive Parity Act,” said Kreidler. “Women deserve guaranteed coverage for all reproductive services, including abortion.”