Monday, December 16, 2013

Should people know what their ACA policies cover?

Remember when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised transparency on abortion coverage in Affordable Care Act policies?



Specifically, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) asked “Can you provide for the committee the list of insurers in the federal exchange who do not offer as part of their package abortion coverage?”

Sebelius replied saying “I can do that sir…We should be able to do it…I know that is the plan, I will get that information…”

CNN remembers:


To date the Secretary has not provided the list discussed at the October 30 hearing.

Secretary Sebelius appeared before the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) questioned her on why she has not provided the list.



In an apparent backtracking from her October 30th commitment to provide a list, Sebelius told Rep. Shimkus that “every plan lists plan benefits and the one plan benefit that they must list by law is abortion services, so as a shopper goes on, I would highly recommend that they look in the plan benefits section…”

When Rep. Shimkus pressed further pointing out that he had examples of summary of benefits documents that do not indicate whether or not abortion is covered, she replied “It is on the website…it is available…”

NPR disagrees:



Still true:


Until this Administration removes its unnecessary secrecy on abortion coverage under Affordable Care Act policies, one can decode one type of plans that do not include abortion.

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