Does Medicare cover abortion pills?

If you are wondering if Medicare covers abortion pills, you need to realize that it most likely will not. There are two exceptions: if the pregnancy is threatening the life of the patient and if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. Just be sure to schedule your procedure within the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy to avoid unnecessary disruptions. In some cases, your health insurance may cover getting the abortion pill at little or no cost. Read on.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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UPDATED: Feb 21, 2022

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The Highlights

  • The Hyde Amendment stops federally-funded healthcare providers from offering their patients abortions, with two exceptions.
  • The abortion pill may be covered if the patient’s life is in danger from the pregnancy or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
  • You may be able to get the abortion pill low-cost or free with health insurance from Planned Parenthood.

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering “does Medicare cover abortion pills?” The answer is, under specific circumstances, Medicare may help with the cost of the abortion pill.

Medical care before and after a medical abortion includes physical exams and lab tests, education about what to expect, self-care instructions, information on when to call your doctor, and birth control planning.

We’ll get more into what those circumstances are and the qualifications that apply below.

If you want to learn more about Medicare and co-pays, read our article Is there a copay for doctor visits with Medicare?

If you’re looking for affordable health insurance, type your ZIP code into our free and helpful tool above to find affordable health insurance rates in your area.

Will Medicare help me pay for the abortion pill?

You’re probably thinking that Medicare is for those who exceed the age of 65. However, many individuals under the age of 65 qualify for it. If you’re age 65 or up, or want to learn about Medicare for someone this age, read our article Do you have to pay for Medicare when you turn 65?

Unfortunately, the two possible abortion procedures do not always qualify for Medicare coverage. 1997’s Hyde Amendment prevents any federally-funded healthcare provider from offering their patient’s abortion. There are, however, two exceptions.

Some health insurance plans don’t cover all or any abortions while others do.

The first exception is if the patient’s life is in danger to the point that abortion becomes necessary. The second exception is if the pregnancy was initiated via rape or incest.

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What are the available abortion procedures?

According to medicare.org, you can go about getting an abortion in one of two ways. First is the abortion pill and second is the in-clinic procedure.

These procedures can generally be obtained five to six weeks after the covered individual’s last menstrual cycle. Just be sure to schedule your procedure, whichever of the two methods you prefer, within the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy. Delaying the procedure could lead to unnecessary disruptions.

The abortion pill procedure consists of taking two pills within 48 hours of one another. The first ceases the usage of a major pregnancy hormone and the second causes the uterus to empty. All in all the ensuing abortion process will take 24 hours to complete.

Before we get into Medicare-related details with regard to these procedures, let’s look at standard Medicare rates.

Medicare Part A Taxes and Rates Summary
Medicare Taxes and
Rates Summary
Estimated Monthly
Medicare Rates
Estimated Annual
Medicare Rates
Medicare taxes for less than 30 quarters,
standard Part A rate
$458$5,496
Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters,
standard Part A rates
$252$3,024
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Let’s move on to whether or not Medicare will assist you in paying for these aforementioned procedures.

Let’s move on to where you can get the abortion pill and how much it’ll run you.

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How much does the abortion pill cost?

A medication abortion can cost up to $750, but it’s often less. The cost of a medication abortion (AKA the abortion pill) can vary depending on the state where you receive care and your health insurance (private or government insurance). Your local Planned Parenthood health center can give you more information about the cost of the abortion and funds that might be available to help you pay for your abortion.

What if I want to keep information about my abortion private?

Everyone has the right to control the information they share about themselves. Washington State recognizes that many people prefer or need to maintain strict privacy about sensitive health care services.

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Where can I get the abortion pill, and how much does it cost?

The safest location to obtain an abortion pill is by far a Planned Parenthood center. They specialize in not only performing these procedures but making sure they go safely and without unnecessary judgment.

Should your local Planned Parenthood health center not provide the abortion pill, they would be happy to provide information in regard to locations in your area where you can obtain it. Make sure to ask them, because they stress caution in terms of “crisis pregnancy centers” which are in actuality fake clinics specializing in scaring and shaming in order to dissuade potential patients from receiving the abortion procedure.

Medication abortion use is increasing even when abortion rates are declining because it provides autonomy and privacy for people, including those who are survivors of sexual violence.

Does Medicare cover abortion pills? The Bottom Line

As of 2018, more than seven million Medicaid-enrolled women of reproductive age (aged 15–44) lived in the 34 states and the District of Columbia where abortion was not covered under the programs, except in very limited circumstances.

Failing to cover medication abortion means that patients lack access to a medical intervention that accounts for more than one-third (39 percent) of all abortions in the United States.

So, at a real clinic, how much does the abortion pill cost? You can, in many cases, get the abortion pill from a Planned Parenthood facility for a low cost or even, potentially, free with health insurance. Consult with your local Planned Parenthood health center to inquire whether health insurance in your state will assist you in paying for your procedure.

Learn how to get affordable health insurance in your area by typing your ZIP code into our free and helpful tool below.

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