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Insurance Coverage for Contraception

Arizona law requires health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication to provide equitable coverage for contraception.

What is required? 
If a health-insurance plan provides coverage for prescription medication or outpatient health-care services, it must provide coverage for any Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription contraception and outpatient contraceptive services.

To which insurance plans does the law apply?  All health-care service organization contracts, contracts between hospital, medical, dental, and optometric service corporations and their subscribers, and certain disability and accountable health plans issued or renewed on or after December 31, 2002 that provide coverage for prescription medication or outpatient health-care services.

Does the law provide additional protections for women?  Yes.  Such plans may not impose deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, or other cost-containment measures for contraceptives that are greater than those imposed for other equivalent medications.

Does the law contain a refusal clause, allowing certain employers and/or insurers to refuse to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage?  Yes.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Religiously affiliated employers, defined as non-profits that primarily employ and serve people who share their religious beliefs, or organizations whose articles of incorporation state that they are a religiously motivated organization and whose religious beliefs are central to the organizations' operating principles.

What does the refusal clause allow?  A religiously affiliated employer may refuse to cover contraceptives in its health plans.

Is this refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women?  Yes.  This broad refusal clause inappropriately includes organizations that operate in the public sphere, employ people of different faiths, and serve people of all faiths.  

Must the refusal be in writing?  Yes. The religiously affiliated employer must file a written affidavit with the insurer stating its objection.
Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  Yes.  A refusal clause may not be used to exclude coverage for prescription contraceptives ordered for reasons other than to prevent pregnancy.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to obtain contraceptive coverage if their employer exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 20-1057.08, -826, -1402, -1404, -2329 (Enacted 2002, Amended 2012).

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