GOP State Senator Mike Padden has some concerns over certain House bills, which have already cleared the lower chamber, including one that could require abortion coverage.

House Bill (HB) 1109 has already passed, and now is in the Senate for consideration.

This bill, according to the official legislative page, would in part:

"...Requires certain student health plans to provide coverage for the voluntary abortion of a pregnancy."

It would, after next January, require certain such health care plans to be 'governed' or administered the same way many other plans are, ones that mandate abortion coverage. From the legislative bill summary:

"A student health plan issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2022, is subject to the abortion requirements applicable to other health plans. The student health plans to which this requirement applies include student health plans deemed by the Insurance Commissioner to have a short-term limited purpose or duration or to be guaranteed renewable while the covered person is enrolled as a regular full-time undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited higher education institution."

According to GOP Senate communications director Tracy Ellis, Several people testitifed before the Senate Healthcare Committee about this plan, which would require the plans to provide that type of coverage.

The bill attempts to extend the 2018 Reproductive Parity Act, which the legislature approved. It was the bill that requires any WA state offered health care plan that includes maternity care to also provide coverage for abortions.

HB 1009 would extend that coverage to higher education students. Sources claim it was a 'mistake' in the writing of the bill (language) that higher ed students were included.

Padden and others are concerned it's another attempt to force insurance providers to cover abortions regardless of their religious, social or other objections.

 Another important health care topic is self care, especially during these times. 

 

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: