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News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: March 25, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Statement regarding Hobby Lobby contraceptive case before Supreme Court

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today issued the following statement regarding Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius:

"As Insurance Commissioner, I am tasked with implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in California. The ACA requires that health insurance cover preventive healthcare services, including contraceptives, without co-pays or deductibles. Contraceptive coverage is an important benefit of the ACA. When the ACA made contraceptives available without co-pays or deductibles, my office heard from women who had previously been unable to afford to fill their prescriptions and had sometimes gone without the healthcare they needed.

Employers should not make family planning decisions for their employees. Women should have access to birth control and employers must not be permitted to interfere in private healthcare decisions made by employees and their doctors. If successful in overturning the law, employers who seek to block coverage for contraceptives might next act to block access to blood transfusions, vaccinations for children, HIV medication, or life-saving stem cell treatments. The bottom line is that employers should not have veto power over healthcare decisions made between a woman and her doctor.

In California, we passed a law more than a dozen years ago to ensure that health insurance plans cover prescription contraceptive methods, which almost all women use at some time in their lives. California law, with its narrow exemption for non-profit religious employers that primarily serve and employ members of its own faith, withstood court challenges like the one before the U.S. Supreme Court today.

I urge the Supreme Court to uphold the law and reject this attack on a woman's ability to control her own healthcare decisions."

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones

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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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