BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Thursday joined a coalition of seven states in suing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its reinterpretation of Section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
On December 27, 2019, HHS issued a final rule requiring qualified health plans participating in the state exchanges to separately bill for the portion of health insurance premiums attributable to abortion coverage. The rule also requires consumers to make a separate payment of at least one dollar for these services or risk losing all of their healthcare coverage. The coalition claims this requirement threatens women’s access to abortion and puts millions at risk of losing critical health insurance coverage.
“This rule is another attack by the Trump Administration on women’s constitutional right to make their own health care decisions. It illegally erects barriers and increases costs for women exercising their reproductive rights,” said Attorney General Frosh. “In Maryland we stand with our mothers, sisters, and daughters. We will sue to protect them.”
The lawsuit claims that the new rule is incompatible with the ACA’s requirement of equitable access to healthcare and disproportionately affects states, like Maryland, that ensure comprehensive reproductive health care. All of Maryland’s qualified health plans cover abortion services.
The coalition says that this rule will also burden states with unnecessary administrative costs and harm consumers who could face higher insurance premiums because of increased costs to carriers.
Attorney General Frosh joined Thursday’s lawsuit along with the attorneys general of California, the District of Columbia, New York, Maine, Oregon, and Vermont.