Dec 21, 2021 - Health

Democrats raise birth control coverage concerns

Picture of Sen. Patty Murray

Sen. Patty Murray. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Democrats say many insurers are falling short on ACA requirements to fully cover birth control and are calling on the Biden Administration to step up enforcement.

Why it matters: The issue has taken on increased significance, they say, amid other threats to women's health access, such as abortion care.

What they're saying: "The ACA requires insurers cover birth control without out-of-pocket costs. That includes the full range of FDA-approved methods," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told Axios.

  • "What we're hearing right now from providers and patients is they're being asked to jump through ridiculous, unnecessary, harmful hoops just to get the birth control that works best for them," said Murray, who is chairwoman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Driving the news: Murray, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Finance Committee, recently sent a letter to administration officials calling for "additional, comprehensive guidance regarding insurers' responsibilities for contraceptive coverage."

The other side: "Under the ACA, health insurance providers are required to cover one product in each of the 18 contraception categories defined by the FDA without cost-sharing," America's Health Insurance Plans said in a statement.

Go deeper