MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Alabamians will have to travel out of state for abortion care.

For those seeking abortions, the costs of abortion pills and surgical procedures can run upwards of $750. But are health plans required to offer coverage for abortions?

Alabama law prevents insurers from most covering abortion costs, but what if your life is in danger?

In Alabama, abortions are illegal, regardless if a woman or person was raped or a victim of incest. The only exception to the law is if a person’s life is in danger.

Even if you are federally or privately insured, Alabama laws were designed to restrict healthcare coverage prior to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Most insurance companies still cover abortion costs if a person’s life is in danger, but Alabama law does not require them to do so.

Though Alabama law doesn’t require insurers to cover these cases, Federal laws does The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 requires insurers to cover life-saving services, including abortion care if a person’s life is at risk. Without this federal law, insurance providers could remove this care from coverage, forcing a woman to pay the full costs of abortion, even if her life is endangered.

Alabama law does not require insurers to cover abortions costs; life endangerment cases are protected under Federal Law

Alabama lawmakers passed several measures making sure insurers couldn’t cover abortions but never required insurers to cover abortion costs in cases of life endangerment.

While the only plan that requires coverage of an abortion would be Medicaid, this is in “very limited circumstances,” according to the Guttmacher Institute. Medicaid may not have the best coverage compared to private plans. It is also uncertain is Alabama lawmakers will keep this requirement in place, since they didn’t mandate it for private companies prior to the overturn of Roe V. Wade.

Here’s a breakdown:

Insurance types offered in Alabama Is this required to be covered?
Public employee insurance plans No
Private insurance plans No
Marketplace plans (Medicaid, Medicare, etc.) *Only in cases of life endangerment

What does that mean for Alabamians?

Although women are protected under federal law, it can get complicated when Alabama law provides no guidance on what constitutes as life endangerment, according to NPR. The pressure is high for Alabama physicians. They must make the right decision for their patient, but an incorrect diagnosis could mean jail time under state law.

Alabama doctors could hesitate to treat a person, even if their life is at risk. If there’s no guidance on life endangerment for physicians, the cases are just as complicated for healthcare providers. Although technically protected, those who are pregnant may have to fight to prove their life is in dager to receive coverage.

Can I get abortion healthcare if I’m insured under Medicaid?

Medicaid, Medicare and other forms of federal health insurance cannot be used to get an abortion in most cases. The Hyde Amendment prevents federal funds to be used for people seeking an abortion.

The only exceptions to those rules are in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. In restrictive states, seeking an abortion under Medicaid is almost impossible. In some restrictive states, a person must prove they’ve been raped or their life is in danger. The person must file a police report or consult with a doctor to be accepted under Medicaid. 

Similar restrictions are in place for those insured under Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. For those in protected states, abortions are usually covered by Medicaid and The Affordable Care Act.

Can I use Medicaid insurance out-of-state?

No, you cannot. You must be insured in a protective state to have an abortion covered under federal programs like Medicaid, Medicare or The Affordable Health Care Act.

What if Planned Parenthood doesn’t accept my insurance?

Those seeking an abortion will have to pay out of pocket. If a person can’t cover the cost, Planned Parenthood clinics provide financial aid. Most clinics will work with the person one-on-one to develop payment plans or find other ways to cover the cost. Alabamians must consult with a Planned Parenthood Clinic out-of-state. For more information, click here.

If you are having trouble affording abortion healthcare, you can click the link here.

Where can I get an abortion?

For those seeking abortion healthcare, the nearest place is North Carolina. Even though abortion is still allowed in Florida and Georgia, it is severely restricted. For more information on where to find abortion healthcare, click the link here.