The Hyde Amendment, first approved by Congress in 1976, prohibits federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when a pregnancy endangers a person's life. This amendment thus applies to all federally-funded public health insurance programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and applies to those employed by the federal government. In Illinois, federal and state employees cannot get an insurance plan that covers abortion, unless it meets Hyde Amendment requirements.1
Illinois Medicaid Coverage of Abortion
Fifteen percent of Illinois’ adult female population is covered by Medicaid, and Medicaid coverage is growing with health care reform.2 Under Illinois’ Medicaid expansion individuals earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) are now potentially eligible for Medicaid.3
Illinois is required to provide state Medicaid funds to cover medically necessary abortions in addition to those cases of rape, incest, or when a pregnancy endangers a person's life. However, some providers do not accept Medicaid coverage or only do in certain circumstances. Also, Medicaid staff do not always offer correct information on coverage, so patients should talk to their provider to learn what may be covered.4
Pregnant persons may also be eligible for Illinois’ Moms & Babies program, which covers health care for individuals with incomes up to 200% of federal poverty level (FPL) during a pregnancy and for 60 days after giving birth. Moms & Babies also pays for services to babies for the first year of life, if the parent is covered by Moms & Babies when the baby is born. There are no co-payments or premiums.