By Halie Solea
A House committee passed a bill Wednesday that would prohibit insurance companies in Indiana from covering most abortions - unless the customer paid to add the option.
Already that's the case for all insurance plans purchased in Indiana through the federal health exchange, which is part of the Affordable Care Act. And state law prohibits abortion coverage for state employees.
Rep. Jeffrey Thompson, R-Lizton, said the goal of House Bill 1123 is to treat all private insurance plans equally.
"It makes uniformity across all of the plans," Thompson said. "Right now, elective abortion coverage is mandated to be included and that's what we don't like."
The ban would not apply to abortions performed to save a woman's life or on a victim of rape or incest.
It also would not apply to health coverage provided by larger companies that self-fund their plans - even if they're administered through an insurance company. Most Hoosiers have insurance through self-funded plans.
Thompson said the bill ensures no one who disagrees with abortion has to help fund it.
"That's the real issue: If you're opposed to it, you should not have to pay for it," Thompson said.
While the bill passed 11-1 at the meeting today, committee members are working on an amendment that will be offered when the bill moves to the full House. They are expected to consider changing the date the bill goes into effect and addressing the implications for student health coverage.
Halie Solea is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.