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Federal Government

Contraceptive Equity

Federal law requires federal employee health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication to provide the same coverage for contraception.

What is required? 
Health-care plans in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program must cover FDA-approved prescription contraceptives to the same extent that they cover other prescription medication.

To which insurance plans does the law apply? 
Health-care plans participating in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program that provide coverage for prescription medication.

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?  Religious health-insurance companies, specifically Personal Care's HMO and OSF HealthPlans, Inc., and any other carrier that objects to providing contraceptive coverage based on its religious beliefs.

What does the refusal clause allow?  A religious health-insurance company may exclude itself from this law.

Is this refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women?  No.

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?  No.

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

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  No.

Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, The District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-115, 119 Stat. 2396 (2005) (Enacted Annually Since 1998).


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