Aetna, an health insurance agency, has recently agreed to settle with the State of Missouri for $1.5 million after violating strict requirements regarding abortions, contraception, and autism in insurance policies. Missouri has unique laws that outline what insurance agencies are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do involving these three touchy subjects. In 1983 a law was made that prohibits abortion coverage from basic insurance policies and instead requires payment of an additional premium. A 2001 Missouri law states that birth control prescriptions should be covered under policies with pharmaceutical benefits. That law also allows people to purchase a plan with contraception coverage if their employer’s plan does not offer it. Aetna provided coverage for contraceptives and abortions without allowing employers to opt out. According to officials, Aetna had also excluded coverage for autism spectrum disorders.
Aetna spokesperson, Scot Roskelley said, regarding this matter, “We have worked closely with the Missouri Department of Insurance since the situation was discovered. We apologize for this oversight and have taken steps to prevent it from happening again.”
Admitting fault, Aetna agreed to donate $250,000 to a Missouri nonprofit organization focused on care and treatment of autism. They are also required to notify customers who were entitled to coverage for autism and pay claims with 9 percent interest. They need stop issuing insurance policies that violate state law or more like violate the state’s religious laws.