Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Commends Final Rule Separating Abortion Payments from Health Care Coverage

WASHINGTON–On Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Exchange Program Integrity Final Rule. Among other provisions, the rule ensures that when Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange plans include elective abortion coverage— for which public funding is prohibited by federal law—customers receive separate bills for abortion coverage from their health insurance.

The fact sheet explaining the rule additionally noted that “if the policy holder fails to pay the separate bill in a separate transaction as instructed by the issuer, the issuer may not terminate the policy holder’s coverage on this basis, provided the amount due is otherwise paid.”

“Consumers have a right to know if they are paying for elective abortion, “ said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “While the Affordable Care Act still allows government-subsidized plans to cover abortion, at least with this rule, Americans can now see and try to avoid complicity by choosing plans consistent with their consciences. I commend the Administration for enforcing the law, for its efforts to ensure transparency in healthcare, and for attempting to respect unborn human life.”