Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has reversed an earlier decision to allow two Catholic universities to eliminate coverage of most abortions for employees, saying state law requires health insurance plans to cover all abortions.
The state had previously allowed insurance companies to offer plans to Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount universities that denied coverage for “elective” abortions, and allowed it only for abortions needed to save a woman’s life or prevent serious health damage. Loyola Marymount, in Los Angeles, implemented its policy in January, while Santa Clara’s was due to take effect next year.
Urged by abortion-rights groups and university employees to reconsider the issue, Brown’s Department of Managed Health Care, in letters to be sent Friday to insurers for both universities, said the exclusions violate a 1975 state law that requires group health plans to cover all basic services - defined, by the law, as those that are “medically necessary.”