Abortion insurance law taking effect in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A new Michigan law requires residents or businesses wanting health insurance coverage for abortions to buy extra coverage.

Once the measure takes effect Thursday, it will apply to new or renewed health plans. The state says seven of Michigan’s 45 insurers, including giant Blue Cross Blue Shield, will sell supplemental abortion policies to small and large employers.

Democrats and abortion-rights advocates fiercely opposed the legislation when it was approved by the Republican-led Legislature in December. But threats of a referendum or other ballot initiative haven’t materialized.

A thrust behind the abortion law is keeping taxpayer-subsidized plans on Michigan’s new insurance marketplace from covering abortions, an option for states under the federal health care law.

But the measure also applies to employer plans and coverage sold to individuals outside the exchange.

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