Today, NoHLA released a new report with an update on insurers’ progress since 2015 in providing contraceptive coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new report is an update of our 2015 investigation of how health insurers in Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange were complying with the ACA requirement to cover all federally approved methods of contraception with no copays or co-insurance, with few exceptions. We found some deficiencies and, with the support of Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, worked with the insurers to adopt our recommendations.
NoHLA recently checked on the health insurers’ progress by reviewing formularies, website content, contraceptive waiver policies, and access to emergency contraception. We also performed spot check calls to sales and customer service representatives, with the help of Legal Voice. We discovered that most health insurers have responded to our recommendations: they have clarified contraceptive coverage options for consumers by creating informational flyers and improving information in their formularies. Many have adopted or simplified their procedures for approving non-formulary contraceptives. However, spot check calls to customer service and sales representatives revealed that some were still providing inaccurate information to consumers that often contradicted what was on their websites. This indicates a need for additional training.
Four insurers adopted our recommendation to cover over-the-counter emergency contraception with no cost-sharing. We continue to urge the other health insurers to follow suit.
The report includes findings and recommendations for each health insurer to improve access to contraceptive options, minimizing unintended pregnancies.
While we are pleased with the progress that health insurers have made, we hope that they will take further steps to ensure that women receive correct and complete information needed to choose a health plan and easily access the best contraceptive method for them.
Read the Executive Summary
Read the Full Report