Under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Americans can purchase individual health insurance policies in state-specific online marketplaces, or exchanges. In 2013, Governor Robert McDonnell attached an amendment to House Bill 1900 prohibiting any policy sold in Virginia’s health exchange from covering abortion, even if it is purchased with private dollars. An individual who bought an exchange policy and wishes to also have abortion coverage who have to seek out a separate abortion rider to her policy. Prior to Governor McDonnell’s amendment, most insurance policies in the private market included coverage for abortion.
House Bill 1900 was sponsored by Delegate Tom Rush (R-Fairfax). The House of Delegates voted 55-37 and the State Senate voted 20-19 to approve Governor McDonnell’s amendment banning abortion coverage.