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Women’s Health Policy

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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).

New Tracker Monitors Affordable Care Act Preventive Services Coverage

The Affordable Care Act requires private insurance plans to cover recommended preventive services with no out-of-pocket charges for patients. This slate of covered services can change when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other authorized groups add or modify recommendations; the federal government also periodically issues clarifications to guide…

Minimum Contraceptive Coverage Requirements Clarified by HHS Guidance

New HHS clarification on ACA contraceptive coverage requirement specifies that insurance plans must cover at no cost to women all of the 18 contraceptive methods approved by the FDA.  If a provider recommends a specific option or product, plans must cover it at no cost as well. Minimum Contraceptive Coverage…

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.

How Does Where You Work Affect Your Contraceptive Coverage?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services including FDA approved prescription contraceptives and services for women. Legal challenges and recently issued rules have affected contraceptive coverage for many women.

Abortion Coverage in Marketplace Plans, 2015

This brief analyzes state policies and insurer coverage decisions affecting the availability of abortion coverage in 2015 insurance plans offered through the Marketplaces. It finds that abortion coverage is unavailable in a total of 31 states, 24 of which have enacted laws that ban or restrict abortion coverage in plans sold through their Marketplaces and 7 of which have no abortion coverage restrictions but also have no Marketplace plans offering it.

Federal and State Standards for “Essential Community Providers” under the ACA and Implications for Women’s Health

Safety net providers such as community health centers and family planning clinics have served a significant role in the provision of primary care and reproductive health care services to low-income and uninsured people, particularly women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a provision aimed at assuring that newly-insured individuals, as well as those without coverage, can continue seeing their trusted safety net providers, also called Essential Community Providers (ECPs). This brief reviews the definition of ECPs, examines the federal and state rules that govern the extent to which plans must include these providers in their networks, identifies the variation from state to state, and discusses the particular importance of these rules and providers for women’s access to care.

Preventive Services Tracker

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires new private health insurance plans to cover many recommended preventive services without any patient cost-sharing. This tracker presents up-to-date information on the adult preventive services nongrandfathered private plans must cover, by condition, including a summary of the recommendation, the target population, the effective date of coverage, and related federal coverage clarifications.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.