Local News

Apex eliminates abortion clause from employee insurance

Posted January 29, 2010 4:37 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2010 11:35 p.m. EST

— Apex leaders last week unanimously voted to eliminate coverage of elective abortions in town employees' health insurance plans.

Mayor Keith Weatherly said Friday that he found out that Blue Cross Blue Shield, the town's insurance provider, offers benefits for abortion through the first 16 weeks of a pregnancy.

"We don't believe it's a proper use of public money, taxpayers' money, to fund elective abortions," Weatherly said.

Taxpayers subsidize medical policy plans for government employees.

"We're not weighing into the legality of abortion," Weatherly said. "That's not our mission."

With the exception of cases of rape or incest, abortions will no longer be covered as of Feb. 1.

Blue Cross Blue Shield officials say elective abortion coverage is standard in fully insured plans.

Employee insurance policies of Cary, Raleigh, Wake County and the state also have the provision regarding abortion.

County commissioners had plan to discuss the issues. Wake County Board of Commision Chairman Tony Gurley says the issue is a legal one, not a moral one, and the board's aim is to protect the county from lawsuits.

Gurley referred to a state Supreme Court ruling from the 1970s that ruled against municipal and county governments providing elective abortion coverage.

Weatherly said the federal government does not provide elective abortion coverage for its employees and that the town's decision is in line with federal standards.

In the past six years, three employees filed insurance claims for elective abortions through Apex.

Cary and Raleigh leaders have said there are no plans to discuss the matter.