Two insurance companies say they will provide abortion coverage in state

OLYMPIA — Two insurance companies who filed to compete in Washington state’s health care exchange initially proposed not to provide abortion coverage, officials said Wednesday.

All current Washington health plans provide abortion insurance. Stephanie Marquis, a spokeswoman with the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner, said the plans without such coverage in the health exchange were recently filed by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of The Northwest and Bridge-Span Health Company.

A spokesman for Kaiser said it mistakenly omitted abortion coverage in its filings and is moving to correct the error. A BridgeSpan spokeswoman said the company has been reassessing and making changes to its plans and intends to include coverage for abortion services.

The early proposals set off frustration among advocates who have been pressing for a new state law to secure abortion coverage for all Washington health plans.

Elaine Rose, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, said it is evidence of the need for lawmakers to make it clear that abortion should be covered.

“What’s going to happen next year, or the year after that or the year after that?” Rose said. “Are we going to constantly be at the whims of insurance carriers changing their minds?”

Opponents of the abortion insurance law have long argued that it’s unnecessary since all the plans in the state have been providing abortion coverage. Advocates have been worried that plans may change due to new rules that create more administrative burdens for insurers when they cover abortions.

The insurance commissioner’s office has also supported the law.

“Any time you don’t have something written into law, there’s a chance it won’t be covered,” Maquis said.

More in Local News

It’s hard to find a parking spot at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Most Read