Safe Abortion Care Included As An Essential Health Benefit in Connecticut’s State Insurance Plan

As part of the health plan to be created under the Affordable Care Act, Connecticut has decided to include abortion as an “essential health benefit.” The move, which will provide more coverage than the basic federal employee plan does, means that Connecticut residents will have insurance that will pay for elective abortions rather than only those for rape, incest or a woman’s health.

Via the Connecticut Mirror:

“This issue is favorably resolved for all women now in Connecticut,” said Jennifer Jaff, executive director of the group Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness and a member of an advisory committee of the Insurance Exchange Health Plan. “Stripping women of elective abortions is not a tenable option.”

“It’s a matter of health. We wanted to protect a woman’s right to chose,” said [Victoria Veltri, the state’s healthcare advocate]. “I didn’t suspect that this would be an issue here.”

The panel approved the measure unanimously.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty

  • jimthompsonmensrightsvideos

    So let me get this straight. Abortion is an “essential health benefit”, and conversely, a woman who has not had an abortion is “sick”?

    George Orwell must be shivering in his grave upon hearing the Doublespeak here.

    Telling women that they are not experiencing health benefits unless they get an abortion is like telling someone they aren’t gainfully employed unless they stand in the unemployment line.

    No wonder new polls show most Americans identifying with the Pro-Life label, and most millenial women no longer buy into the Pro-Abortion hyperbole.


  • purplemistydez

    No one said that.  Abortion is an essential health benefit because otherwise women would die from back alley abortions like before Roe vs. Wade.  People identify as pro-life, but do not want abortion to be illegal.  Most people are aware that abortion will not go away simply by making it illegal.

  • jennifer-jaff

    What happened is that an advisory committee to the Exchange — NOT the final decisionmaker — voted to eliminate the federal employee plans as benchmark options for the essential health benefits for several reasons, one of which was the possibility that choosing a federal employee plan would have prohibited insurers from covering abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother.  We did not affirmativelly vote to include abortion as an essential health benefit.  Indeed, we are not sure whether we can do that in light of the statutory language that says that no plan can be required to cover abortion.  We are awaiting guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services on that point.  But in the meantime, all we did was vote to preserve the option of insurance coverage of abortion; we did not vote to require it.  Although I personally would vote to require it, I do not know if the others on the committee feel the same.  Jennifer Jaff