- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) - Maine’s top provider of individual and small-group health insurance plans is dropping coverage for elective abortions beginning next year.

The Portland Press Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2eQgSoW ) Lewiston-based health insurance co-op Community Health Options is also cutting adult vision care from all of its plans in addition.

Women’s health advocates in the state say the decision to drop abortion coverage poses as serious problem for women who purchase their insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

CEO Kevin Lewis says the decision was not easy but it was necessary for the insurer to reduce costs in order to remain viable.

CHO is raising premiums by an average of 25.5 percent after taking a $31 million loss in 2015.

Elective abortions and vision care are considered “non-essential health benefits” under the Affordable Care Act.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

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