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Insurance Coverage for Contraception

Nevada 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, devices or outpatient care, it must provide coverage for any Food and Drug Administration-approved contraception or any health-care service related to contraception.

To which insurance plans does the law apply? Individual and group insurance policies, hospital or medical service contracts, and health maintenance organization (HMO) policies issued or renewed on or after October 1, 1999 that provide coverage for prescription medication, devices or outpatient care.

Does the law provide additional protections for women? Yes. Insurers may not:  (1) impose a greater copayment, coinsurance, deductible, or waiting period than that imposed on other prescriptions or outpatient care; (2) refuse to issue or cancel a health-insurance policy because the prospective insured uses or may use contraception; (3) offer incentives to an insured or health-care provider to discourage the use of contraception; or (4) penalize a health-care provider for providing contraceptives.

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? Insurers that are affiliated with a religious organization and that object to contraception on religious grounds.

What does the refusal clause allow? An insurer that is affiliated with a religious organization and that objects to contraception on religious grounds may refuse to provide coverage for contraception.

Is this refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women? Yes. The law permits insurers affiliated with religious organizations to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage. This broad refusal clause inappropriately includes insurers that operate in the public sphere.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? Yes. An insurer exercising the religious exemption must provide written notice of the excluded services to the prospective insureds.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

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

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 689A.0415, .0417; §§ 689B.0376, .0377; §§ 695B.1916, .1918; §§ 695C.1694, .1695.  (Enacted 1999)

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