Image: Ken Lund under CC 3.0
As part of the healthcare reform law, each state is required to launch insurance exchanges by 2014. These will allow individuals and small businesses to buy health coverage, some with the help of federal subsidies.
There is a minimum standard of acceptable benefits–but beyond that, states have the leeway to decide what those plans should or shouldn’t cover. In Mississippi, Republican Governor Haley Barbour signed a bill that bans health insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in the exchanges.
Since tens of thousands of residents will probably take part in the Mississippi health insurance exchange market, pro-life backers of the bill hope to discourage the procedure.