Jan 18, 2022 - Health

Biden administration warns health insurers on birth control coverage

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testifies during a Senate hearing on Sept. 30, 2021.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testifies during a Senate hearing on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Health insurers could face increased scrutiny and potential enforcement actions regarding their coverage of birth control, following recent guidance from the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The ACA requires birth control coverage with no cost-sharing, but some advocates and Democrats in Congress have said insurers are running afoul of the law with restrictions.

Details: The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury released a jointly prepared FAQ in response.

  • "The Departments are actively investigating these complaints and reports and may take enforcement or other corrective actions," the document read.

What they're saying: "It's the law: patients are supposed to have coverage for the birth control that works best for them — without paying extra and without jumping through unnecessary hoops," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

  • "This is a good step from the Biden-Harris Administration to show insurers they need to do what they're supposed to and I'm going to stay focused on this until it's fixed," said Murray, who is the chairwoman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

The other side: Insurers have said they're following the law by covering at least one form of contraception in each of the 18 contraception categories defined by the FDA.

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