(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey regulators took a step to require a swath of health insurers to cover abortion costs in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling that struck down a constitutional right to the procedure.
Two boards that regulate health plans voted this week to open the matter to public comment. A vote later this month is expected to make the requirement effective Jan. 1, according to a news release.
The rule would apply only to state-regulated insurance markets that serve individual buyers and small and large employers. That amounts to 1.3 million people, about 14% of the market, state officials said.
The most densely populated US state would be the eighth with such a regulation, according to a report by the state Department of Banking and Insurance. The nation’s highest court in June struck down a 1973 ruling that had guaranteed abortion rights, leaving states free to ban or otherwise restrict the procedure. Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat in his second term, has committed to maintaining access.
Neither state nor federal law mandates coverage for pregnancy termination, according to the report, a fact that “has been cited as a source of confusion and a potential obstacle to accessing the full range of reproductive health-care services.”
The required coverage “will not increase premiums in any material way,” the report stated.
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