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California may become first state to mandate insurance coverage for contraception



California may become first state to mandate insurance coverage for contraception



State Reproductive Health Monitor 6(3): 1-3



Eight bills have been proposed in various states to require that private insurance providers cover contraceptive services and supplies. Four of the measures extend coverage to dependents as well as insured employees. Action on this legislation is only possible during 1995 in California (likely to be the first passed), Illinois, and Wisconsin. The California bill requires that all insurance plans which cover prescription drugs cover a variety (but not the entire spectrum) of prescription contraceptives with special provisions made for covering specific contraceptives not generally covered if medical circumstances compel a patient to use that method. Such bills would address the widespread failure of private insurers to cover reproductive health care services (for example, only 33% of the large plans currently cover oral contraceptives). The California initiative will also require that nonspouse dependents be covered for maternity care (currently provided by only 79% of the large-group fee-for-services plans). Only anti-abortion groups oppose the California bill.

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