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Insurance Coverage for Contraception

Iowa 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 outpatient prescription medication or devices or outpatient services, it must provide coverage for Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription contraception and outpatient contraceptive services.

To which insurance plans does the law apply?  Individual and group health-benefit plans issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2000, except for certain limited benefit plans, that provide coverage for outpatient prescription medication or devices or outpatient services.

Does the law provide additional protections for women?  Yes.  An insurer may not:  (1) deny eligibility because of a covered individual's use or potential use of contraception, or outpatient services; (2) provide monetary payment to encourage a covered individual to accept less than the minimum benefits required by this law; (3) penalize or limit reimbursement of a health-care professional because he/she prescribes contraception; (4) provide monetary or other incentives to induce a health-care professional to withhold contraception from a covered individual; or (5) impose any deductible, coinsurance, or copayment for contraception that differs from those imposed for any other outpatient medication, device, or service under the plan.

Does the law contain a refusal clause, allowing certain employers and/or insurers to refuse to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage?  No.

May an individual obtain a health-insurance policy that excludes contraceptive coverage?  A person who holds an individual heath-insurance policy or contract may refuse the coverage required by this law.

Iowa Code Ann. § 514C.19 (Enacted 2000).

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