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A Post Roe World: California’s Response To Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health – Healthcare



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In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s
Health
, California has taken significant steps to
ensure continued ability to access abortion care in the state, and
making additional funds available to providers delivering
reproductive health care services. California has a long-standing
history of protecting access to abortion care in the state, and has
codified the ability of a resident to obtain
an abortion prior to viability. Before the Dobbs decision
was announced, California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a “Reproductive Health Package” to
help bolster California’s stature as a sanctuary state for
abortion-seeking individuals traveling from states where abortion
is illegal.

After Dobbs, Governor Newsom signed an executive order declaring California’s
commitment to ensuring access for reproductive health care, and
restricting California agencies from disclosing information
relating to persons or entities that provide, secure, or receive
support for reproductive health care services legally performed in
California. This fall, Californians will have the opportunity to
vote on amending the state constitution to permanently
protect reproductive rights, including abortion and
contraception.

There are several California laws that were in effect prior to
Dobbs and that are currently under consideration in the
state legislature which would impact providers in the reproductive
health care space. In California, abortion and abortion-related
services are basic health care services, and must be
included as covered benefits in health insurance policies. As of January 1, 2023, insurers will be required to
cover all abortion services without imposing a deductible,
coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement.
Insurers may not impose any utilization management, utilization
review, prior authorization, annual or lifetime limits on
outpatient abortion services. These mandates decrease burdens on
providers and will limit the barriers patients face when seeking
abortion or abortion-related services both on a financial and
administrative level.

The California legislature is also considering SB 1142 which, among other things, would
establish an “Abortion Practical Support Fund” to
increase access to abortion and research to support equitable
access to abortion. If signed into law, qualifying nonprofit
organizations and public research institutions will be able to use
these funds for services including: coordinating practical support
for abortions, case management of reproductive services, and public
research initiatives that promote reproductive health care access.
Moreover, grantees can utilize these funds to assist out-of-state
patients seeking abortion or abortion-related services in
California.

California’s budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year also
contains several potential programs for abortion providers. The budget appropriates over $14 million for a
supplemental payment program for nonhospital community clinics that
incur costs associated with providing abortion services to Medi-Cal
beneficiaries, $20 million to establish an abortion access safe
haven pilot program in Los Angeles County, and a $40 million
uncompensated care fund for abortion services for individuals below
400% of the federal poverty level.

The Dobbs decision leaves providers and health care
institutions to navigate an ever-changing landscape of abortion
care in their respective states. California appears poised to
remain a state that will ensure the right to access reproductive
health care in all forms, incentivize providers engaged in these
services, and help prepare its providers to care for a potential
influx of out-of-state residents who may seek this type of care.
Despite these protections and greater access to funds to provide
abortion and abortion-related services to non-California residents,
California providers still need to pay attention to legislative
actions in other states that may impact providers’ licensure in
those states (should they have additional licenses). We will
continue to closely monitor the impacts of states’ decisions
and provide updates.

Foley is here to help you address the short- and long-term
impacts in the wake of regulatory changes. We have the resources to
help you navigate these and other important legal considerations
related to business operations and industry-specific issues. Please
reach out to the authors, your Foley relationship partner, or to
our Health Care Practice Group with any
questions.

As the impacts from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s
Health Organization decision overturning Roe v. Wade continue to
evolve, so too do new business and legal implications for companies
around the United States.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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