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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: March 1, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Dave Jones Releases a Statement on Important Defeat of Controversial Blunt Amendment in U.S. Senate

In August 2011, the Obama Administration announced historic new guidelines to ensure that starting in August 2012 women with insurance coverage will receive preventative health care services at no additional cost. Women's preventative health care services that are or will be available without a co-payment or deductible include well-woman visits, FDA-approved contraceptive methods and domestic violence screening and counseling.

The U.S. Senate voted 51-48 today to defeat Senator Blunt's amendment that would have permitted health insurers and employers to deny coverage for any health care service - no matter how essential that benefit.

"California dramatically improved women's access to contraceptives more than a decade ago with passage of a law requiring health insurance to cover this critical health benefit," said Commissioner Jones. "The Affordable Care Act will further improve access to contraceptives by eliminating co-payments and deductibles for the 98 percent of women who have used contraceptives. Women and their families benefit greatly from this reform.

"I am pleased that the US Senate defeated the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed insurers and employers to deny women access to contraceptives or any health care benefit they objected to. I want to express my appreciation to Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein for their leadership on this issue and for their votes in helping to defeat the amendment. The majority of states already require that contraceptives be covered in health insurance policies and women should not have to worry that they will lose access to any essential health care services, particularly those they have long relied upon."

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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