The following comes from a Sept. 25 email sent by a Cal Catholic reader.

It is open enrollment time at CALPERS (Calif. Public Employees Retirement System).  All the health care plans available provide for abortion.  Some of health care plans provide for surgical and chemical abortions (e.g. Kaiser, Blue Shield of California, and Sharp Health Plan).  All the rest do not provide for surgical abortion benefits, but use CVS Caremark, which provides Plan B, the morning after pill, as a covered benefit, as the one and only prescription provider (e.g. Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net of California, PERS Select, PERS Choice, PERS Care, and United Healthcare).

I cannot opt out of CALPERS, and use my $1,400.00 per month health benefit to pay for private health insurance.  That is not an available option.

I cannot just pay for one of the health care plans that do not provide for a surgical abortion benefits, and just waive the right to prescription coverage through CVS Caremark.  That is not an available option either.

So, my only options are: (1) pay for a health care plan that provides surgical and chemical abortions as a covered benefit – thus subsidizing abortion coverage;

(2) pay for a health care plan that partners with CVS Caremark to provide for chemical abortions as a covered benefit – thus, subsidizing abortion coverage; or (3) opt out of CALPERS entirely, forfeit my $1,400.00 health benefit, and pay for health insurance privately or go without health insurance.

I asked CALPERS:

Why doesn’t CALPERS allow its members to opt out of prescription coverage and get only health insurance?

Why doesn’t CALPERS have a second prescription plan available for pro-life members; one that does not include abortifacients as a covered benefit so that CALPERS can truly respect the diversity of all its members?

I was advised that members may share their concerns with the CALPERS board of directors by attending the monthly meetings held in Sacramento, California and addressing the board members directly; sending a letter to the board of directors (which would likely not be read); and/or attending a monthly meeting via webcam and addressing the board members directly at the end of the meeting during the general comments time.

Please encourage all CALPERS members who live in the Sacramento area to attend the CALPERS board meetings in person, and voice their concerns.

The schedule for the CALPERS board meetings is available here.

Alternatively, CALPERS members may address the board during the regular monthly meetings via webcam here.