Trenton – Today, New Jersey took an additional regulatory step to ensure women have access to quality reproductive healthcare. As a result of the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act (S-49/A-6260) passed last session, the Department of Banking and Insurance will now require all reproductive choices without exceptions to be covered by plans delivered, issued, executed, or renewed in the State.
“Women across New Jersey should feel confident knowing their State government is doing everything possible to protect their reproductive rights and to make the best care available to them,” said Senate President Nick Scutari. “The Legislature is committed to keeping accessible and affordable reproductive healthcare a top priority.”
As part of the Choice Act, a mandated study found additional regulatory action was required to cover abortion services under health benefits plans regulated by the department. The study also determined insurance coverage for abortion, without exceptions, will not increase premiums, allows access to the full range of reproductive healthcare, and is similar to actions taken in other states.
“When we passed the legislation that allowed for the decision today, we did so to protect women’s rights, and give them assurance that their healthcare plans will be required to put their needs, and their decisions first,” said Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz. “Today we see that legislation go into full effect, providing clear guidance that women’s health decisions remain between her and her doctor.”
“Women in New Jersey should always have the right to decide when, and if, they start a family,” said Senator Linda Greenstein, a sponsor of the original legislation. “The Legislature passed this bill last session to ensure women control their healthcare decisions, at no additional cost to them.”
“This announcement ensures that more women in New Jersey remain in charge of their healthcare, removing any possible exceptions from insurance companies and continues to demonstrate that our state is a national leader in safeguarding reproductive rights,” said Senator Andrew Zwicker.
“A person’s right of reproductive choice, in effect a right of control over one’s own body, remains a fundamental right,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “Providing access to quality and affordable care for reproductive health treatment speaks to a very basic societal fairness that is and must remain part and parcel to medical services for every New Jerseyan.”
“Basic health care costs and access to treatment can be a severe burden on everyday residents and working families of our state. This expansion in coverage will make sure those services, including services for reproductive health care, will remain accessible and affordable for all,” said Senator Joe Lagana.