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Women’s Health Issues: Women, Private Health Insurance, and the Affordable Care Act

In the run up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many of the law’s proponents were actively engaged in advocacy that promoted the law’s benefits for women. In particular, there was much attention to the numerous provisions that addressed the long-standing inequities and discriminatory practices adopted by many private insurance plans that disproportionately disadvantaged women. These included charging women higher rates than men, while also excluding benefits important to women, such as maternity care and contraception. As we approach the end of the ACA’s third open enrollment period, it is a good time to step back and reflect what we are learning about how the private insurance reforms and expansions have affected access to coverage for women and to identify where gaps remain.

Donor Government Assistance for Family Planning in 2014

This report finds that donor governments provided US$1.4 billion in bilateral funding for family planning programs in low- and middle-income countries in 2014 – a 9 percent increase above 2013 and 32% above 2012 levels.

Round 2 on the Legal Challenges to Contraceptive Coverage: Are Nonprofits “Substantially Burdened” by the “Accommodation”?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services including Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prescription contraceptives and services for women. Since the implementation of the ACA contraceptive coverage requirement in 2012, over 200 corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that including coverage for contraceptives or opting for an “accommodation” from the federal government violates their religious beliefs. This brief explains the legal issues raised by the nonprofit litigation and discusses the impact of the Hobby Lobby decision on the current litigation.

Women’s Health Issues: Medicaid and Women’s Health Coverage Two Years into the Affordable Care Act

As Medicaid marks its 50th year, the program has unquestionably become the mainstay of health coverage for low-income women in the nation. Since its inception, its role for women has continued to evolve and expand, but the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) swung open the doors for Medicaid to serve even more low-income women who lack access to private or employer-based insurance. This is because the ACA enabled states to finally eliminate Medicaid’s historical “categorical” requirements, which had essentially shut out women and men without dependent children.

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): Access for Women in the U.S.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs), along with implants, are known as long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) because they can be used to prevent pregnancy for several years. This fact sheet reviews the various IUDs approved by the FDA; awareness, use, and availability of IUDs; and key issues in insurance coverage and financing of IUDs in the United States.

Private Insurance Coverage of Contraception

Insurance coverage of contraceptive services has been the focus of policy attention by state and federal policymakers, as well as in the courts, over the past two decades. This issue brief explains the rules for private insurance coverage of contraceptives at the federal and state level and discusses key issues regarding the provision and coverage of contraception by private insurance plans, including the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).