FAQs

What employer-based health insurance options are available in Rhode Island?
Employer-based health insurance in Rhode Island is available through three providers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, United Healthcare of New England, and Tufts Health Plan.

What is direct-pay health insurance?
If you do not receive health insurance through your employer and are not eligible for government-supported insurance like Medicaid or TRICARE, you may be able to purchase health insurance directly from an insurer. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the only insurer currently offering direct-pay health insurance plans to individuals and families in Rhode Island.

Will my health insurance pay for my abortion?
It depends on your plan. Health insurance plans issued in Rhode Island are not required to cover abortion services, nor are they prohibited from covering abortion. If you are unsure if abortion services are covered by your plan, check your subscriber agreement.

Does Rhode Island public employee health insurance cover abortion?
No. Rhode Island state employees are eligible for health insurance through United HealthCare of New England, but the state employee plan does not cover elective abortion care or related services.

Will the healthcare reform law increase coverage for abortion services?
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states were given explicit authority to ban insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in private policies sold on the state healthcare exchanges. In 2010, five states passed such bans. Dozens of similar bills to restrict or ban insurance coverage of abortion have been introduced throughout the country. Some members of Congress are also seeking further restrictions on private insurance coverage of abortion.These efforts represent an alarming threat to reproductive rights. Any ban of abortion coverage by private insurers would run counter to prevailing insurance industry policy - more than 80% of commercial insurance plans currently cover abortion.

What is happening in Rhode Island with health reform and abortion?
Please visit HealthSource RI for resources and information about affordable health care coverage.

Why is it important that health insurance continue to cover abortion care?
Abortion is a legal medical procedure and the majority of health plans cover it. It is wrong for the government to take away insurance coverage for a legal medical procedure. Many things can happen in a pregnancy that are beyond a person's control, so having insurance coverage for abortion lets more people access healthcare they may need. Taking away insurance coverage does not reduce the need for abortions, but it may force some to resort to drastic measures. People who decide they need an abortion should have access to safe and legal medical care. When insurance companies cover it, politicians should not interfere.

My health insurance plan doesn't cover abortions - where can I turn for help?
WHEF works directly with area clinics. Ask your clinic if you can use WHEF funds.