Lauren Lewthwaite Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

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Does Health Insurance Cover Abortions? The Answers to Your Questions Here.

abortion covered by insurance

Terminating an unwanted pregnancy can be a difficult topic, and it can be made even more difficult by trying to navigate insurance and payment for the actual procedure. It often leads to the question, are abortions covered by health insurance? 

Keep reading for everything you need to know around abortions and insurance coverage.

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Are Abortions Covered By Insurance?

The answer isn’t quite so simple. It varies widely depending on a number of factors, like the state you live in and your insurance plan. It can even depend on the circumstances of your pregnancy and your health.

Abortion is a tricky subject in the USA. Some states completely ban abortions, while others allow it only in the cases of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is endangered. Some states require insurance plans to cover abortion costs. It’s clear that it’s a contested topic, so the answer to “are abortions covered by insurance?” is going to depend heavily on your unique situation. 

Coverage by State

Each state has its own rules around abortion coverage by health insurance. Where you live will heavily influence whether or not abortions can be paid for by insurance.  Here are some fast facts about coverage across the USA:
  • There are only six states that actually require private insurance policies to cover abortion, including California, Main, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, and New York.
  • Almost half of all states completely ban abortion coverage through the health insurance exchange.
  • 22 states restrict the coverage of abortion for public employees in health insurance plans.
  • 20 states only allow coverage in cases involving rape, incest, life endangerment, and fetal abnormality.
It’s clear that abortion is a widely contested subject in America. Whether or not an abortion is covered by health insurance will be dictated by the state you live in and further by the circumstances of your pregnancy. 

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Coverage by Insurance Plan

The type of health insurance will also impact the answer to, “are abortions covered by health insurance?”. Even if the state you live in will allow you to use health insurance for an abortion, you might face further restrictions from your insurance provider.  Types of insurance and coverage surrounding abortions:
  • ACA Marketplace: half of all states don’t allow plans purchased through the Marketplace to cover abortion except in cases of incest, rape, or if the mother’s life is endangered.
  • Medicaid: coverage varies by state and by circumstances surrounding the pregnancy. In 16 states it covers most medically necessary abortions, while in 33 states it covers only abortions in the cases of incest, rape, or if the mother’s life is endangered.
  • Employer-sponsored plan: this depends widely on the state, the specific plan, and the circumstances around the procedure. 
You would be able to check your policy to see if abortions on covered and in which cases. If your plan doesn’t cover an abortion procedure, you would need to pay out of pocket for the procedure.  

How Much Does an Abortion Cost?

The cost of an abortion depends on the stage of pregnancy and whether it’s a medical (pill) or surgical abortion. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more, depending on the procedure and how far along you are. 

If your insurance can be used, this will bring down the cost depending on your specific plan’s co-pays and coverage. You can also check with your local Planned Parenthood, as they offer low or no-cost abortions if you qualify. 

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So, Are Abortions Covered by Health Insurance?

As you can see, it’s a tough question. The answer depends on where you live, your insurance plan, your pregnancy, and more. You should be able to discreetly check your policy to get the answers you need around abortion coverage. Processing your claim for the procedure would be similar to any other health insurance claims you make under your policy, and it’s important to note that the procedure would show up on your claims history. 

Even if your insurance doesn’t cover abortions, you can still pay out-of-pocket for the procedure as long as your state doesn’t ban abortions. The costs can vary, but you may be able to find organizations that can subsidize the cost

While health insurance plans have made significant progress in terms of covering women’s health services, abortion is still a touchy subject that isn’t yet widely covered by insurance plans. 

Lauren Lewthwaite Lauren Lewthwaite has been freelance writing for almost five years writing content that ranges from health to insurance and everything in between. Lauren is also a trained translator in French and English and is a dog-mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd.

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