Reproductive health care in New Jersey is expanding with large employers regulated by the state’s Department of Banking and Insurance now required to provide comprehensive abortion coverage in health benefit plans. The requirement, which was already in effect in individual and small-employer health insurance markets, extends from the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act. Governor Phil Murphy stated that this implementation strengthens New Jersey’s position as a leader in safeguarding reproductive rights and health care services, assuring residents can access the reproductive care they need and deserve.
Abortion Insurance Requirement Expansion in New Jersey
Reproductive health care coverage in New Jersey is broadening, as the Department of Banking and Insurance mandates large employers to provide comprehensive abortion coverage within all health benefit plans.
This requirement, enacted earlier this year for individual and small-employer health insurance markets, will now apply to the fully-insured large employer health insurance sector as well.
Background on Abortion Insurance Requirement
Following the directive of New Jersey’s Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, the department conducted a study to ascertain whether health insurance should cover reproductive health, including abortion services. The study concluded that comprehensive insurance coverage should indeed include abortion as a part of reproductive care.
The study further emphasized that the state law upholds the right to terminate a pregnancy without governmental intrusion.
“New Jersey remains at the forefront in ensuring reproductive rights and health care services. This requirement will facilitate access to abortion services without any exceptions limiting coverage, reinforcing a woman’s autonomy in medical decisions about her reproductive health,” stated Gov. Phil Murphy.
Who will be Covered?
While the exact number of women potentially impacted by the new requirement wasn’t specified, it’s notable that most people receive their insurance through federally regulated insurance offered by their employers. State-regulated plans encompass those provided to state workers.
Insurance carriers predict the effect of this requirement to range from zero to 0.1 percent, indicating that insurance rates in the regulated markets aren’t expected to materially rise.
Additional Measures for Reproductive Rights
This is a continued effort by the Murphy administration following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated federal reproductive health protections that had previously stood for generations.
New Jersey legislators have gone a step further by protecting those involved in abortions from extradition to states with restrictive or criminalizing abortion laws and prohibiting public agencies from aiding investigations by states criminalizing abortion.