Affordable Care Act, Birth Control Access

Seattle Times: Insurance Companies Need to Get Their Act Together

Hopefully, not usThis morning, the Seattle Times ran a second editorial, headlined “Patients must expect more from providers on birth control,” highlighting the failure of many insurance companies’ to provide accurate information about what birth control options they cover (a shortfall that can lead women to use options that aren’t best for them or forego birth control altogether), as well as their documented failure to provide all FDA-approved forms of birth control free of charge, as required by the Affordable Care Act.

Two reports, by the National Women’s Law Center and Kaiser, respectively, showed that across the board, insurance companies were denying women free access to approved forms of birth control, telling some, for example, that because the long-acting NuvaRing and birth controls both contain hormones, women prescribed the NuvaRing should be content to take birth control pills instead.

Citing an April report by NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Northwest Health Law Advocates, which revealed that insurance companies were giving women inaccurate information about what birth control they covered, the Times writes, “Now that the rules are clear, insurance providers must comply.

“Women’s health advocates are watching closely. So is Sen. [Patty] Murray,” who has been a champion on this issue, the Times continues.

Listing a number of checklist items people should know before they call their insurance providers, the Times suggests that anyone who believes they have been given false information about or denied the no-cost contraceptive coverage that’s guaranteed by the law should file a complaint with Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who plans to meet with eight insurance companies, along with NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and NOHLA, to follow up on their progress in October.

And if you have your own story of being denied coverage or given false information by an insurance company rep, drop us a line and share your experience.

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