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Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Reminds Consumers: Insurers Must Cover Contraception Without Co-Pays Beginning August 1

News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: July 30, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Reminds Consumers: Insurers Must Cover Contraception Without Co-Pays Beginning August 1

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones reminds Californians that beginning August 1, insurers must cover contraceptives and other preventive health care services for women in non-grandfathered health insurance plans with no out-of-pocket costs. Contraceptive use is widespread among women of childbearing age and cost plays a significant role in access to contraception.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that women's preventive health care services, including contraception, be covered without co-pays or deductibles for women with health insurance beginning August 1, 2012. Nonprofit employers, who for religious reasons do not currently provide contraceptives under their group health plans, have an additional year to comply with the contraceptive mandate until plan or policy years on or after August 1, 2013.

"This change in the law is a significant benefit of the Affordable Care Act," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "It provides a major cost savings for millions of women and greater access to essential preventive health care services. In talking with women about the importance of the new law, I've heard from some who have had to skip filling their prescriptions because they could not afford the co-pay. This new benefit makes a tangible difference in the lives of women," continued Jones.

For plans issued or renewing on or after August 1, Women's Preventive Health Care Services must be covered without a co-pay, deductible or other cost sharing. In addition to coverage for contraception, the health services covered include annual well-woman exams, screening for gestational diabetes, HPV testing and screening and counseling for domestic violence. The provision in the federal law regarding contraceptive coverage builds on longstanding California law in place since 2000. State law has long required health insurance policies that provide coverage for prescription drugs to cover a variety of prescription contraceptive methods approved by the FDA. Now, thanks to the ACA, this coverage will be at no cost to the policyholder.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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