Obama Administration Mandate: Insurance Must Cover Contraception and Preventive Screening Methods

On Monday, the Obama administration released statement that Barack Obama’s Health Care Law requires insurance companies to cover every type of birth control approve by the FDA, without requiring patients to have a co-pay or deductible.


Access to Contraception

The administration wants every person to have access to contraception if they choose to use it. All health plans must cover at least one form of contraception under each of the 18 FDA-approved types. 

This statement cam about after recent pressure from groups to address the issue. Some of the groups who came forward were the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the National Women's Law Center. These groups found widespread violations of birth control coverage requirements in its report: “State of Birth Control Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act."

Since its inception, it was thought that Obamacare covered all forms of birth control, however the challenege came about recently due to a study from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation that found insurance providers have created exceptions or found loopholes for:

  • emergency contraception like Plan B
  • long-acting contraceptives like implants or intrauterine devices
  • hormone methods (patch and ring)
  • permanent methods like sterilization

America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group that represents insurance companies posted a blog entry countering recent accusations about contraception coverage.

“Health plans provide access to a wide-range of contraceptive options as required under federal law. Health plans negotiate with manufacturers to allow people to afford such products," a statement read.

Now with these new guidelines from the Obama administration, all insurance providers must cover all FDA-approved contraception products, a total of 18. 

The Affordable Care Act also required insurance companies cover

  • Preventive screenings
  • Genetic counseling and testing for women who have high chance of having genetic mutation in BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 cancer susceptibility gene (even in those who haven’t been diagnosed with related cancer)
  • Preventive services for transgender men or women
  • Preventive services for dependent children including those related to pregnancy
  • Anesthesia services performed in connection with preventive colonoscopies

The administration has said: “These preventive services are designed to help people stay healthy and to catch illnesses earlier on, when treatments can be more successful and costs are often lower.”