On March 9 Alaskans have a chance to weigh in on a bill that aims to force health care insurers in Alaska to provide coverage for the contraceptive pill, so-called “emergency contraception” and IUDs — all of which can cause early abortions of living human embryos.
House Bill 25 would also force insurers to cover prescription and over-the-counter contraceptives, sterilizations, contraceptive-focused exams and procedures and medical services.
The bill is scheduled for a hearing with public testimony in the House Health & Social Services Committee on March 9 at 3 p.m.
Anchorage Democrat Rep. Matt Claman introduced House Bill 25, which has only a narrow exemption for some health care insurers that provide insurance plans to a “religious” employer that objects to the mandate and has “self-certified” as such with the federal Department of Labor or has given notice to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This could leave out various organizations, including religious orders or religiously affiliated organizations with a focus on social services that aren’t officially “religious” activities. Moreover, the bill would force health care insurers to cover contraceptives when they provide insurance plans to non-religious, for-profit businesses or non-profit organizations that aren’t officially “religious” but oppose covering contraceptives and abortifacients for religious or ethical reasons.
In addition, HB 25 prohibits health care insurers from requiring copayments, deductibles or other forms of cost sharing to offset the costs of covering contraceptives. But the bill does not prohibit insurers from raising the prices of insurance plan premiums – including of objecting and exempt organizations – to pay for the abortifacient contraceptives provided to others.