KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Tennessee Enacts Abortion Waiting Period; Texas Considers Abortion Restrictions On Minors

And in Missouri, Aetna will pay a $4.5 million fine for covering some elective abortions for ineligible women who didn't buy an optional policy, as required by state law.

The Tennessean: 48-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Signed Into Tennessee Law
Women seeking an abortion in Tennessee will now have to make two trips to a clinic, waiting 48 hours after getting in-person counseling from a doctor before being able to return for the procedure, under a new measure signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday. Physicians who do not follow new rules on what to tell their patients during the in-person counseling could face either misdemeanor or felony charges, or risk having their medical licenses revoked. (Wadhwani, 5/19)

The Texas Tribune: Texas Senate Panel OKs Restrictions On Minors Seeking Abortions
Minors seeking abortions in Texas without parental consent will face a tougher set of legal hurdles under legislation already approved by the House and now headed for the Senate floor. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday approved House Bill 3994 by state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, on a 5-2 vote. Morrison's bill would tighten the requirements on “judicial bypass,” the legal process that allows minors to get court approval for an abortion if seeking permission from their parents could endanger them. (Ura, 5/19)

The Associated Press: Missouri Fines Aetna For Paying For Uninsured Abortions
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Tuesday that insurer Aetna has agreed to pay $4.5 million for violations of state law that included paying for elective abortions when the women were not eligible under their policies, marking the largest insurance penalty in state history. In documents outlining the agreement, the insurance company said it covered elective abortions for women who did not pay for additional insurance for those abortions. A 1983 Missouri law requires that women buy optional insurance for elective abortion coverage. (Ballentine, 5/19)

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