Multiple individual plans available on the D.C. health-insurance exchange specifically cover elective abortion but not hearing aids, routine foot-care, and routine eye-care. One such plan, Healthy Blue PPO $1500, has a summary on the D.C. exchange’s website titled “Excluded Services & Other Covered Services.” It says enrollees can receive coverage for abortions performed for non-medical reasons, but not for a number of other services that could seem medically necessary. The plan also excludes coverage for some other procedures, including cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery, and infertility treatment.
Per Anna Higgins of the Family Research Council, in D.C. Aetna plans and multi-state plans run by the Office of Personnel Management and offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield specifically don’t offer elective abortion coverage. All the other plans offered in the District do cover elective abortion. When she wrote about the issue in October for TownHall, representatives from the D.C. exchange told her that plans were required to cover abortion because it was an “essential benefit.” That’s incorrect, however, and the exchange later retracted the statement. The Affordable Care Act specifically states that abortion is not an essential benefit, so not all plans cover the procedure.