Culpeper Star-Exponent: Spanberger to health insurers: fully cover birth control

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, last Thursday joined more than 150 congressional colleagues in urging health insurers to improve access to birth control by fully covering all contraceptives without a generic equivalent.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover contraception at no cost, but plans routinely refuse to do so, not covering certain products, imposing administrative hurdles and requiring unallowable cost-sharing, according to a release from the local congresswoman’s office.

In a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans, legislators urged health insurers to comply with the law and immediately adopt a “therapeutic equivalence standard” to allow coverage without cost-sharing of every FDA-approved birth control product that does not have a generic — or “therapeutic” — equivalent.

“We urge your plans to immediately consider adopting the therapeutic equivalence standard to ensure patients’ access to the contraceptive products they need, as required by the ACA,” the letter stated.

The letter has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federations of America, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL), Power to Decide and Physicians for Reproductive Health.

Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, a practicing OB-GYN associated with Power to Decide, said she knows how frustrating it is for patients to not have the contraceptive they need covered by the health insurance they pay for.

“Finding a birth control method that works for you takes time, and having a method denied by insurance is a significant barrier that often prevents people from getting the contraception they need,” she said.

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