New Law Ensures Maryland Women – and Men –Free Birth Control
Annapolis, MD (May 10, 2016) ----- Planned Parenthood of Maryland applauds Governor Larry Hogan today for signing the Maryland Contraceptive Equity Act (HB 1005/SB 848) sponsored by Delegate Ariana Kelly (D-Montgomery Co.) and Senator Delores Kelley (D-Baltimore Co.).
“While it may seem as if most of the country is trying to take away women's rights, the State of Maryland and Planned Parenthood of Maryland worked together to push reproductive rights forward,” said Karen Nelson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland (PPM).
The new law which takes effect on January 1, 2018, passed with significant and nationally unprecedented bi-partisan support, and provides all Maryland women and men expanded access to birth control, at little to no cost.
"I commend the Maryland General Assembly for its leadership in passing the Maryland Contraceptive Equity Act, especially its lead sponsors Senator Delores Kelley and Delegate Ariana Kelly, as well as Planned Parenthood of Maryland for their strong advocacy,” said Congressman Christopher Van Hollen.
The law solidifies Maryland’s role as a trailblazer in women’s health care. Maryland was the first state to mandate contraceptive coverage in 1998, and now in 2016, Maryland is the first state to legislate the most comprehensive insurance coverage of birth control in the country.
“It is now the nation's most comprehensive expansion of private insurance coverage of contraception, improving access to preventive health services and to the contraception that best fits the individual needs of each Marylander. Public health and the economic security of Maryland families will be greatly improved by this law, and I was pleased to testify in Annapolis in support of it," Van Hollen added.
The law ensures that cost will no longer be a barrier to women or men getting the type of birth control they need. Key components include:
- Eliminate most co-payments for birth control.
- Lift pre-authorization requirements for women obtaining IUDs and implants.
- Make Maryland the first state in the nation to provide equity in contraception access for men by broadening coverage of vasectomies without co-payments.
- Make Maryland the first state in nation to provide insurance coverage for over-the-counter contraceptive medications, like emergency contraception or Plan B.
- Allow a woman to receive six months of birth control at one time so that she no longer has to return to her doctor or to the pharmacy each month to pick up her birth control.
As a result, it is expected that women will significantly lower their chances of risking an unintended pregnancy.
The legislation was also supported by Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Congressman Elijah Cummings who said: “I am proud that Maryland has built on the success of the Affordable Care Act to expand access to contraception by requiring all insurers to cover at least one form of contraception to all Marylanders without a co-pay. This important guarantee will allow Marylanders to take charge of their health and family planning.”
Planned Parenthood of Maryland works hard to expand access to contraception and ensure high-quality reproductive health care for more than 30,000 women and men under its care each year.
Planned Parenthood of Maryland (PPM) is a not-for-profit family planning agency that provides high-quality, affordable reproductive health care for women, men and teens. Our mission is to enable all Marylanders to have access to a wide range of high quality, affordable reproductive health care services. By providing medical services, education, training, and advocacy, PPM seeks to help individuals make informed decisions about their reproductive health, family planning options, and sexuality.
May 11, 2016