WASHINGTON, DC — Two new reports released today from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) show that several health insurance companies are violating central elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), specifically provisions requiring coverage of essential health care that women need including birth control, well-woman visits, and pregnancy-related care. While many health insurers are meeting the law’s requirements, including covering all FDA-approved birth control methods without a copay, many health plans are not and women continue to face barriers when accessing the birth control they need. In the statement below, Planned Parenthood calls on the Obama administration to clarify and enforce federal law to ensure all women have access to the full range of benefits, as the law requires. This follows a report released earlier this month from the Kaiser Family Foundation with similar findings related to contraceptive coverage.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“It’s unacceptable that women are still being denied insurance coverage for birth control, well-woman visits, and pregnancy-related care. This violates federal law and we call on the Obama administration to take immediate steps to ensure these women get the health care they need and deserve.
“We know that birth control without a copay is one of the most popular provisions in the Affordable Care Act and has clear health and economic benefits for women and their families. While 48.5 million women nationwide are eligible for preventive care, including birth control without a copay, this report shows that many are still facing barriers.
“As the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, we know how important it is that all women — no matter where they work or how much money they have — can access the full range of birth control methods without a copay. That’s why we fought so hard for the preventive benefit in the first place.”
- In “State of Women’s Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act,” NWLC assessed coverage of women’s health services by analyzing coverage offered on health insurance Marketplaces by more than 100 insurance companies in 15 states during 2014 and 2015 and found that more than half of the issuers were violating the ACA. The extent of the violations indicates the problems are likely to be systemic nationwide.
- In its second report, “State of Birth Control Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act,” NWLC delved more deeply into coverage of FDA-approved birth control methods and found widespread violations of the ACA’s requirement that all such methods be covered without copayments or deductibles. NWLC supplemented its review of plan documents with its own correspondence with insurance companies and with stories of real women gathered through NWLC’s CoverHer hotline, which is dedicated to helping women who are not receiving birth control coverage as required by law.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
April 29, 2015