California will allow women with preexisting conditions to purchase insurance through a new insurance exchange starting in October, the state Department of Insurance announced on Monday.
The exchange, known as CA Health Care, will cover abortions up to 24 weeks, but it will not cover birth control.
Women with pre or recent-existing medical conditions would still be required to have health insurance plans that cover abortions, such as those from Planned Parenthood, but those plans would not be able to cover the abortion services covered by CA Health.
The department said the new policy is similar to the one in place in New Jersey, which has already offered coverage for abortion since 2017.
“Women with preextended conditions can now access a new type of affordable health care,” state Insurance Commissioner Barbara Loomis said in a statement.
“As we strive to expand access to care, we must ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable coverage that includes affordable abortion coverage.”
Amber Voss, the executive director of Planned Parenthood of Northern California, said in an emailed statement that the state should have already approved the plan.
“The bill has already been fully vetted by the California Health Department and will take effect on October 1,” she said.
The plan will allow pregnant women to shop for insurance in a “single-payer” system, a version of Medicare, which also includes private health insurance for people under age 65.
The state is trying to develop a single-payer system for California and other states.
California is also considering expanding the Medicaid program for low-income residents, which is largely funded by the federal government, to cover an additional 5 million people.