Md. law eliminates birth-control copayments

WASHINGTON — A new law is going to make birth control more accessible for a lot of women and men in Maryland. It mandates the most comprehensive insurance coverage for contraception in the country.

The Contraceptive Equity Act eliminates insurance copayments for most birth control pills and devices and vasectomies for Medicaid patients and members of insurance plans regulated by the State of Maryland.

“Insurance companies in Maryland actually supported this effort,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. “They concluded that the cost to the system would decrease.”

When unintended pregnancies are avoided, Van Hollen says, everybody is better off.

“This falls into the whole category of trying to make sure that we have preventive health care that is very accessible,” he added.

Under the law, Maryland will be the first state in the U.S. to require insurance to pay for over-the-counter contraceptive medicines, such as the morning-after pill.

The law takes effect in 2018.

“Family planning is associated with improved social and economic outcomes including education, workforce participation, income, and family stability,” NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland said on its website in support of the new law.

Read more about the Maryland Contraception Equity Act on the Planned Parenthood website.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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