Massachusetts: Governor Healey and Other Leaders of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance Urge Federal Government to Require Health Plan Coverage for All Contraception

Boston ~ Today, Governor Maura T. Healey of Massachusetts, joined by the other Executive Committee governors of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance – California Governor Gavin Newsom, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro – called on U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su to take additional steps to ensure that all forms of contraception are affordable and accessible.

The governors urged the federal government to clarify that non-prescription contraception will be covered without cost-sharing under private health insurance plans subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, Medicare, and Medicaid. They wrote: "On July 13, 2023, the FDA approved the first over-the-counter (OTC) daily birth control pill, a development that could revolutionize access to contraception in the United States. This medication is expected to be released to the public shortly. Prior to that release, we urge you to take all necessary and available steps to ensure that this non-prescription OTC option will be covered without cost-sharing under private health insurance plans subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, Medicare, and Medicaid."

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Governor Healey expressed her support for making contraception available without a prescription in order to lower barriers for accessing this critical medication. She said: "I'm proud to stand with my fellow Governors to ensure that reproductive health care is affordable and accessible for all of our communities."

The Reproductive Freedom Alliance is a nonpartisan coalition of 22 governors working together in order to protect and expand reproductive freedom in their states. Dominique Lee, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts; Rebecca Hart Holder, President of Reproductive Equity Now; and Audrey Morse Gasteier, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector have all expressed their support for this initiative as well.

Lee stated: "Affordability and accessibility of reproductive health care remain barriers to millions of women and trans and nonbinary folks being able to realize their reproductive freedom." Holder added: "The right to reproductive health care is not a real right unless every individual can access that care without cost or insurance barriers." Gasteier concluded: "Ensuring access to non-prescription contraception with no cost sharing is fundamental for the health and economic well-being of Massachusetts residents."

The governors are urging the federal government's departments involved in healthcare coverage - HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra's department as well as Acting U.S Labor Secretary Julie Su's -to promptly disseminate new guidance on coverage of over-the-counter contraception so as join them in expanding access for vulnerable populations across America.

Filed Under: Government, State

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