Tuesday, December 24, 2019

New HHS Obamacare Rule Requires Separate Bill For Abortion Services

The Department of Health and Human Services last week issued a group of rules (full text) on oversight of state Obamacare exchanges.  One portion of the new rules changes the billing requirements for health insurance policies that cover abortion services. The Affordable Care Act requires a separate payment by the policyholder for the amount of the premium that covers abortions in order to avoid public funds being used to pay for abortions.  The new rules sharpen that requirement.  As explained in the HHS Fact Sheet on the new rules, health plan issuers will now be required to:
(1) send an entirely separate monthly bill to the policy holder for only the portion of premium attributable to coverage of certain abortion services, and (2) instruct the policy holder to pay the portion of their premium attributable to coverage of certain abortion services in a separate transaction....  QHP issuers sending paper bills will be permitted to send the separate paper bill in the same mailing as the separate bill for the rest of the enrollee’s premium. QHP issuers sending bills electronically will be required to send the separate bill in a separate email or electronic communication.... However, if the policy holder fails to pay the separate bill in a separate transaction as instructed by the issuer, the issuer may not terminate the policy holder’s coverage on this basis, provided the amount due is otherwise paid.