May 12, 2015 — New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) on Monday proposed a bill that would codify the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) contraceptive coverage rules into state law and add additional birth control benefits and protections, the New York Daily News reports (Blain, New York Daily News, 5/10).
Federal guidance on the contraceptive coverage rules under the ACA states that insurers must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods without cost sharing (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/17). However, some insurers have denied full coverage of some methods or imposed copays, according to recent reports, the Daily News reports (New York Daily News, 5/10).
On Thursday, Schneiderman requested information from 11 insurers in the state regarding their contraceptive coverage. Schneiderman's office has requested that the insurers respond to a list of 10 questions regarding coverage for birth control by May 28.
Schneiderman's bill, called the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act of 2015, would allow individuals to receive one year's supply of birth control at one time (Hughes, Albany Times Union, 5/11).
In addition, it would prohibit insurers from denying or limiting birth control coverage by using medical management techniques (New York Daily News, 5/10). The ACA permits insurers to use "reasonable medical management techniques" to curb costs, such as only covering the generic version of an approved contraceptive (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/17).
Further, the bill would require New York insurers to cover men's contraceptive methods, including condoms and vasectomies.
Schneiderman said, "New Yorkers should not be penalized by their insurance companies for using the birth control method that they and their medical provider agree is most appropriate for them" (Albany Times Union, 5/11).
Meanwhile, Leslie Moran, senior vice president of the New York Health Plan Association, said insurers in the state currently are complying with the ACA's contraceptive coverage rules. She said, "There is a shared goal of the state and the health plans to provide access to coverage, including contraception" (New York Daily News, 5/10).