healthcare, War on Women, Women — December 1, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Michigan Democrats introduce legislation to mandate coverage for ‘abortion rider’ law


The bills stipulate that all health insurers must make rider policies available to all women.

Women’s reproductive health took a giant step backward in Michigan in 2013, when legislation written and lobbied for by Right to Life passed the Michigan Legislature. The law, which took effect in 2014, requires women to buy a separate insurance rider in case they might need abortion care in the future. But most insurance plans in Michigan don’t offer the rider, leaving women without essential healthcare coverage.

This law is dangerous to women’s health, because women must have the rider in place to be fully covered during a miscarriage or abortion — even in cases of rape and when the woman’s health is in jeopardy. As usual, the motives of Right to Life are to end abortion entirely, even though it’s a legal and safe procedure, and they’re not afraid to put women’s health and lives at risk to further their cause.

Fortunately, Michigan Democrats have been working on solutions ever since the legislation passed.

Most recently, State Representative Pam Faris and state Senator Rebekah Warren are urging action on legislation requiring all health insurers in Michigan to offer the “abortion rider.” So far, just eight of Michigan’s 42 health insurers actually offer such a policy, meaning it’s impossible for many Michigan women to have full health insurance.

Rep. Faris had this to say in a statement:

It was incredibly discriminatory for Republicans to pass a law requiring women — and only women — to buy an extra insurance policy for complete healthcare coverage when they already knew that most insurers didn’t even offer such a policy. The very least we can do is ensure that all insurers actually offer these extra insurance policies so that women can get the healthcare coverage they need. Women facing a miscarriage or recovering after rape need medical help, not the runaround from their insurance company.

Sen. Warren pointed out that it’s been more than a year since the “extreme and discriminatory” law took effect, but this rider is still not offered by most insurers.

The law requiring women to purchase an extra insurance rider for comprehensive healthcare coverage puts women’s lives at risk, plain and simple. … The vast majority of women in Michigan, including those who need assistance during a miscarriage or who face serious medical complications, must pay out of pocket in order to get the vital care they need.

The introduction of Rep. Faris’ and Sen. Warren’s bills follows the introduction of a bill earlier this year by Democratic Representative Sarah Roberts that would repeal the controversial law altogether.

Rep. Roberts had this to say:

Since the law was passed, the number of insurers offering the optional rider has increased from seven to just eight, which means full healthcare coverage is still out of reach for many women in the state. Without proper care following a miscarriage, a woman’s health — and maybe even her life — are at risk. A woman who becomes pregnant after rape deserves all the medical care she needs to regain control of her life. I am still fighting for repeal of this cruel law, but in the meantime, we must ensure women at least can purchase the healthcare they need.

Thank you to these legislators, their colleagues, and the medial professionals and other social justice warriors who continue fighting the dangerous, discriminatory abortion rider law.