SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Most insurance plans in California protect abortion procedures, according to the California Department of Insurance.

The assurance comes amid a landmark Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade

“California law is clear that we protect reproductive freedom and insurance coverage for abortion,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in a statement Friday. “Defending all people’s right to healthcare is a top priority for me and the Department of Insurance,”

The department compiled a list of frequently asked questions, detailing how California will protect insurance coverage for abortion. 

Is my private insurer required to cover my abortion?

California law considers abortion to be “basic healthcare” and most insurance plans in the state cover these services, according to the agency. However, these protections do not apply to employers with “self-funded” health care coverage. 

Can my private insurer discriminate against me for having an abortion? 

California’s Constitution prohibits all discrimination, including abortion procedures from private health insurers. As a result, insurers cannot withhold your insurance plan or alter pricing after receiving an abortion.

Can my private insurer require prior authorization before I obtain an abortion?

While a medical provider may request prior authorization, an insurer cannot deny an individual from receiving an abortion, according to the Insurance Department. However, starting January 2023, insurance plans must cover all abortion services without prior authorization. 

What do I do if there is no local abortion provider in my private insurance network?

In the event there are no local abortion providers within an insurer’s network, providers must arrange an alternate appointment with a nearby network provider to ensure timely care for patients. 

Can my private insurer require me to receive a referral from my doctor for an abortion?

No, individuals do not need a doctor referral to obtain an abortion and can schedule an appointment with a specialist instead. 

Policyholders who need more clarity on their health coverage are encouraged to contact the Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-4357