Great story on the abortion issue at places like Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University

A spokesman for Anthem, asked to define “religious affiliation” and what constitutes a “variety” of contraceptive methods – or to provide a legal basis for offering amended plans without regard to the narrow exception under Catholic Charities for covering contraceptives – declined to comment.In May 2012 Kaiser Permanente submitted to the DMHC an amended family service plan that eliminated from coverage “voluntary termination of pregnancy.”Spokesman Won S. Ha said that Kaiser, responding to purchaser requests, sought coverage language that excluded “elective” abortion. In an emailed statement, Ha said the DMHC “did not object, and in September 2012 we began reflecting this change in our coverage benefits documents for purchasers regardless of religious affiliation.”Since that license was approved, Ha says, Kaiser has referred to the 2012 plan “in other Evidence of Coverage filings.”In a prepared statement, Loyola told this magazine, “We purchased fully insured, approved plans from Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente that excluded elective abortions. The issue is really between the insurance companies and the California Department of Managed Care.” Loyola spokeswoman Celeste Durant said that the university “declined to participate” in this story.Officials at DMHC initially declined to comment on approval of the Anthem or Kaiser plans. But the agency later replied in an email, “The Department of Managed Health Care is reviewing coverage issues pertaining to abortion services.”None of the documents the DMHC provided includes the agency’s replies to Anthem’s filings, or refers to its own policies. In response to questions for this article, an agency spokesman stated: “In general, the Knox-Keene Act requires health plans under the DMHC’s jurisdiction to cover all medically necessary basic health care services, including pregnancy-related services.”Who at the DMHC issued the licenses to Anthem and Kaiser – and on what legal basis – remains a mystery. But lawyers who have had adversarial dealings with DMHC say the agency’s decision-making in the past has seemed more protective of insurers than consumers.

via Uncovered.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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