HHS Investigating Whether Illinois Law Violates Employers’ Civil Rights by Requiring Health Insurance Plans to Include Abortion Coverage

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department opened an investigation into whether Illinois violated federal law by discriminating against insurers that excluded or limited coverage for abortions.

Under the Weldon Amendment, federally funded governments are prohibited from discriminating against those insurers. The Thomas More Society, a conservative legal nonprofit, announced Tuesday that HHS had notified them of the investigation in a letter sent just before President Biden’s inauguration.

Sent by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) deputy director Luis Perez, the letter read: “OCR is investigating whether the state of Illinois, through its Department of Insurance and Department of Central Management Services, is discriminating against health plan issuers and plans that would offer health coverage that limited or excluded abortion coverage but for the Reproductive Health Act.”

Illinois’ Reproductive Health Act requires private insurers to cover abortion. It’s unclear how the investigation will proceed under Biden’s leadership, but it resembled a similar investigation HHS undertook that ultimately resulted in threatening to revoke Medicaid funding for California.

That case faced roadblocks under former President Obama’s administration in 2016, while Biden was vice president. OCR Director Jocelyn Samuels said at the time that California did not violate the Weldon Amendment.

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SOURCE: Fox News, Sam Dorman

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