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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Bill Requires Health Insurance Policies That Don't Cover Abortion

healthcare.gov website

Health insurance plans in Montana would have to offer some policies that didn’t cover abortion services, under a bill heard today in a House Committee.

The bill would guarantee that customers who didn’t want their premiums going to pay for abortions could choose a policy from any provider on the insurance exchange that was abortion-free, except for cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the mother’s life, cases where the law requires all policies to cover abortion. That drew objections from several advocacy groups.

Robin Turner with the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says a woman’s life doesn’t always go according to plan.

"When you think you have your life planned out and you think you can elect an insurance plan that doesn’t allow for abortion services, perhaps you don’t always have control over whether or not you’re pregnant,' Turner said.

But the bill’s sponsor, Billings Republican Cary Smith, said offering a no-abortion insurance option is actually a requirement of federal law.

“This bill is not about whether or not abortion should be available or shouldn’t be available, this bill is about being in compliance with the Affordable Health Care Act. I didn’t single the issue out. Those in Washington that passed the bill singled the issue out," said Smith.

Smith says currently healthcare.gov offers no Montana policies without abortion coverage.

The House Human Services Committee will decide whether to forward this bill to the House. It’s already passed in the Senate.

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