All summer, we’ve been talking about getting contraception covered in all the new health insurance plans created under the Affordable Care Act. For a quick review: in July, a panel of non-partisan experts released their recommendations that included not only all FDA-approved methods of contraception, but also an incredible list of other needed preventive health services for women. A few short weeks later in August, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted these recommendations in full, paving the way for millions of women to soon have access to contraception WITHOUT A CO-PAY!
Considering 99% of us women use contraception at some point in their lives, and with the economy still in turmoil, this was a big step forward for women’s health.
Unfortunately, with the good news came a small piece of bad; HHS was also accepting comments on a religious refusal clause included in the policy. This refusal clause would exempt some religious institutions from including the no-cost coverage of contraceptives in their employer-sponsored health insurance plans. We’ve been vocal opponents of this restriction and submitted comments to HHS that explain our opposition.
Along the way, we’ve asked our supporters to join us in championing contraceptive coverage. Nearly 65,000 signed our petition. Over 10,000 thanked HHS Secretary Sebelius for adopting the expert recommendations in full. And, most recently, over 13,000 submitted comments to HHS on the refusal clause, asking that the final version of this policy allow all women to have access to birth control without a co-pay.
Many thanks to all of you who have joined us in making sure the health care law works for women.
And if you haven’t submitted comments yet, there’s still time!
You can submit comments until the end of the day today – so tell HHS all women need access to contraception without a co-pay RIGHT NOW!