North Carolina Abortion Law Changes – Effective July 1, 2023
Announcement from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to high-quality, affordable health care. New abortion laws go into effect in North Carolina on July 1, 2023. We are currently reviewing the laws to determine if there are impacts on our company, customers and providers.
Blue Cross NC provides coverage for abortions based on each member’s individual plan; abortions must be permitted by law in the state in which the service is performed. To determine how abortion services are covered and whether coverage has changed, members can refer to their benefit plan documents, or benefit booklets, or call our customer service team at the number on the back of their ID card.
- Effective July 1, 2023, abortions in North Carolina are legal through 12 weeks of pregnancy, or later in the following circumstances:
- In cases of rape or incest, abortions are legal through 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- In cases of a “life altering fetal anomaly,” abortions are legal through 24 weeks of pregnancy.
- If the life of the mother is endangered, abortions are legal at any time during pregnancy.
- These abortion restrictions apply to individuals receiving care in North Carolina. Each state has its own laws, and individuals are subject to each state’s rules.
- Blue Cross NC provides coverage for abortions based on each member’s individual plan; abortions must be permitted by law in the state in which the service is performed.
- Blue Cross NC is currently in the process of changing our benefit booklet language from stating that coverage is available through the 16th week of pregnancy, to coverage being available in accordance with state law. This booklet language change is being implemented upon customers’ 2023 renewal or effective date, but benefits will be administered in accordance with state law.1 Note that regardless of the benefit language, we cannot cover a service that is illegal.
- Self-funded groups cannot opt out or customize their benefits in a way that is in violation of the law.
Please contact the agent contact center or your Blue Cross NC representative, if you or your customers have questions about these laws and your Blue Cross NC coverage.
1 In cases where a benefit booklet states that coverage is available through 16 weeks of pregnancy, Blue Cross NC will instead cover services according to state law (through 12 weeks of pregnancy or later if certain circumstances apply). Blue Cross NC is working to update benefit booklets accordingly.