HHS rewrites Obamacare rules image

The Washington Times, May 11, 2015
Tom Howell Jr., quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director)

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From the article:

The Obama administration on Monday ordered all insurers to provide IUDs, the contraceptive patch and other birth control free of out-of-pocket charge to all women, thereby rewriting the rules after reports that some insurance carriers were refusing to cover all types of contraceptives. Insurers must now cover at least one brand of contraception in each of 18 different methods outlined by the Food and Drug Administration, such as one type of oral contraceptive pill, one version of the emergency contraceptive morning-after pill and, notably, the vaginal ring, which some women could not get before without paying out of pocket. [...]

“Insurance companies have been breaking the law and, today, the Obama administration underscored that it will not tolerate these violations,” the National Women’s Law Center said. “It is now absolutely clear that all means all — all unique birth control methods for women must be covered.” Pro-choice groups and others had said insurers were using so-called “medical management” to either skirt the rules or plead ignorance. 

For example, an inquiry by the New York attorney general found one plan told a patient she couldn’t get the NuvaRing — for which there is no generic on the market — without cost-sharing because she could use birth control pills with the same chemical formulation.

Holly Lynch, a bioethics experts at Harvard Law School who closely tracks Obamacare’s contraception rules, said that was exactly the type of problem that HHS wanted to erase. “Just because a pill would be available for free doesn’t mean that an insurer could refuse to make the ring available for free,” she said. [...]

bioethics contraception holly fernandez lynch human rights public health reproductive rights