States Lead the Way in Promoting Coverage of Abortion in Medicaid and Private Insurance
Adam Sonfield, Guttmacher Institute
Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 24, 2019
Advocates and policymakers working to ensure that everyone can afford an abortion scored a number of important victories within just a few days of each other: On June 13, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a law expanding abortion coverage in private insurance and Medicaid. Just one day earlier, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had signed a law expanding private insurance coverage of abortion as part of a broader abortion rights law. The same week, New York City allocated $250,000 to a nonprofit abortion fund to directly assist patients, including patients traveling from other states.
This burst of action builds on a nationwide push to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which currently bans abortion coverage under Medicaid and other federal health coverage programs. Expanding coverage will help people overcome one substantial barrier to abortion—the cost of abortion services—and will be particularly important for people with low incomes, people of color and people with disabilities.