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CONCORD -- On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Senate voted a decisive 14-10 to pass SB 486, the Reproductive Health Parity Act. Sponsored by Sen. Cindy Rosenwald, this critical legislation will require private insurance and plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace to cover abortion care if the plans also cover prenatal care. This bill helps to reduce barriers to abortion care access and ensure that a pregnant person can make their own reproductive health decisions. 

SB 486 also protects Granite Staters from changes in federal laws and regulations, including two rule changes to the Affordable Care Act that would create instability for health insurance plans and for consumers. The Reproductive Health Parity Act is a necessary measure to ensure that these rules don’t result in major losses of insurance coverage for Granite Staters. Passage of this bill would put New Hampshire in line with seven other states that already require insurance coverage of abortion. 

Statement from Sabrina Dunlap, VP of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, NH:

“We applaud the New Hampshire Senate for passing this critical measure to ensure that Granite Staters’ insurance covers abortion care as part of the full spectrum of reproductive health care. Access to timely, affordable, and respectful abortion care is an essential component of reproductive health care and should be covered just like any other medical procedure. The Reproductive Health Parity Act will ensure equity in reproductive health care access for Granite Staters. We look forward to educating members of the House on the importance of this legislation and passing it into law.”

The Reproductive Health Parity Act builds on progress the Granite State has made in recent years to protect patients from changes to insurance coverage happening at the federal level. Last year, the New Hampshire Legislature enshrined the essential health benefits for the Affordable Care Act into state law and passed a law that requires New Hampshire insurers to cover infertility diagnosis and treatment. In 2018 the state legislature passed a law that requires insurance to cover no-cost contraception.

Background on Trump Administration Insurance Rules:

  • The Reproductive Health Parity Act will protect Granite Staters against new Trump administration rules designed to make it more difficult for health insurance plans to cover abortion.

  • These two new Trump administration rules make it more important than ever that New Hampshire patients have the right to access abortion services through their health insurance. 

  • The first rule, which is set to go into effect in June, requires insurers to separately bill consumers, sending one bill for coverage of abortion care and another for all other health care, forcing the consumers to pay in two separate transactions.

    • This new payment requirement goes against industry practice, which allows for a single bill to consumers and a single payment, and will cause unnecessary confusion and frustration for enrollees around payments.

    • Plans on the ACA exchange must already segregate funds that are used to cover abortion services.

    • This unnecessary administrative burden pushed onto consumers is expected to cause confusion and potentially result in losses of coverage. By the Trump administration’s own account, more than 3 million consumers would be subject to these onerous restrictions and could potentially lose coverage.

  • The second rule, which has not yet been finalized, will require that ACA Marketplace plans that offer abortion coverage (outside the limited cases of rape, incest or life endangerment) also offer health plans that do not include abortion coverage. 

    • This rule would impose increased costs and administrative burdens on insurance companies, likely leading to some insurers dropping abortion coverage to avoid the hassle and costs. 

    • Importantly, this rule does not apply to states with laws requiring abortion coverage, so it would not apply to New Hampshire if the Reproductive Health Parity Act is state law.


Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care for women, men and young people across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 6 health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. In 2018, we saw nearly 14,000 patients at these sites.

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy. The Action Fund makes independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to targeted candidates for public office. PPNHAF maintains a separate, segregated political committee and fund to make direct campaign contributions to endorsed candidates (the PAC).


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