Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has signed into law the Contraceptive Equity Act, which puts the state at the forefront of efforts to reduce insurance-plan barriers to accessing multiple forms of contraception. When the law takes effect in 2018, insurance plans regulated by Maryland that provide contraceptive coverage will no longer be allowed to charge co-payments for FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, procedures, and devices. This list include vasectomies and emergency-contraceptive pills.

The law will also allow women to receive six months of oral contraceptives at a time, and will prohibit insurers from requiring prior authorization for IUDs and contraceptive implants. The provisions apply to Medicaid plans as well as private insurers.

While the Affordable Care Act took an important step forward by requiring insurers to have at least one form of contraception in each of the FDA’s prescription categories available to women without cost-sharing. However, this could mean that an insurer allows women to get only one kind of combined oral contraceptive pill without paying a co-payment, so many women might find that using the pill that works best for them still requires a monthly fee. It also means that emergency contraceptive pills obtained over the counter, rather than through a provider’s prescription, can still cost women $60. Under Maryland’s law, over-the-counter emergency contraception will now be free to the insured woman purchasing it, and insurers can only require co-payments for forms of contraception that are therapeutically equivalent to others available without cost-sharing (e.g., an insurer can require copayments for branded pills when their generic versions are available without copayments).

Including a popular form of male contraception, vasectomies, on the list of cost-sharing-free contraceptive methods assures that men as well as women will face fewer barriers to deciding if and when to procreate.

Being able to control whether and when to give birth is good for women’s health as well as children’s. Cost and logistics can interfere with contraceptive preferences, which is why laws like Maryland’s are important.

 

Comments

  1. #1 See Noevo
    May 18, 2016

    The linked BuzzFeed article is titled
    “Maryland Just Made Birth Control, Plan B, And Vasectomies FREE”,
    and says “Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed the Contraceptive Equity Act into law Tuesday, requiring all insurance companies to offer FREE over-the-counter and prescription birth control.”

    There is no such thing as “free.”
    Somebody is paying for it, specifically, those paying their insurance premiums.

    All this has done is
    – DENY insurance companies the FREEDOM to offer plans tailored to their customers, and
    – DENY Maryland insurance customers the FREEDOM to NOT pay for things they may find inherently evil and against their deeply-held religious beliefs.

    How ironic that this is happening in Maryland, which was named after Mary the Mother of God.
    And in a country known as the Land of the FREE, and the Home of the Brave.

    So, UN-free, so cowardly.

  2. #2 JustaTech
    May 18, 2016

    SN: You are incorrect about the naming of Maryland. It was named for Queen Mary (of William and Mary) and was the first (and only) Catholic British colony. It was also the first colony to have any kind of freedom of religion.

    On the costs front, contraception is always cheaper than childbirth and children, so the insurers save money.

    Your deeply held religious beliefs are yours and yours alone. Keep them to yourself and I will keep my beliefs to myself.

  3. #3 See Noevo
    May 18, 2016

    To Justa Tech #2:

    “SN: You are incorrect about the naming of Maryland. It was named for Queen Mary (of William and Mary) and was the first (and only) Catholic British colony. It was also the first colony to have any kind of freedom of religion.”

    Yes, looks like I was wrong.
    But somewhat contrary to what you say, Maryland.gov says the state was named for “Queen Henrietta MARIA (1609-1669), wife of Charles I (1600-1649)…”

    (I find it a little odd that the state’s not named Marialand.)

    Redo using some of your words:
    How ironic that this is happening in Maryland, the first (and only) CATHOLIC British colony. It was also the FIRST colony to have any kind of FREEDOM OF RELIGION.
    ………….
    “On the costs front, contraception is always cheaper than childbirth and children, so the insurers save money.”

    The inanity of that statement is more understandable coming from a Justa Tech,
    as opposed to from a Justa(n) Economist or Justa Businessman or Justa Commonsenseguy.

    But more fundamentally, on what basis does the government think it has the right to direct (actually coerce) insurance companies, or any private companies, on how they can best save money/make money?

    Answer: None.

    And more specifically, apparently the state of Maryland is one of only 15 states that ALSO has an INFERTILITY INSURANCE MANDATE, requiring health insurance plans to offer or provide coverage for fertility treatment costs.
    Infertility treatments are expensive! AND more importantly, if they’re successful, they lead to those expensive child births you mention!
    What’s going on?

    Answer: What’s going on has NOTHING to do with cost considerations.
    What’s going on is government ENFORCEMENT of an anti-religious, anti-life, pro-abortion, liberal agenda.

    “Your deeply held religious beliefs are yours and yours alone. Keep them to yourself and I will keep my beliefs to myself.”

    Sounds good, as long as you keep your hands and the government’s hands from twisting my arm (or worse) to violate my religious beliefs.

  4. #4 dean
    United States
    May 19, 2016

    sn, the number of ways you show your lack of critical thinking skills asinine groundless complaints about your religious rights being violated is astounding.

  5. #5 JustaTech
    May 19, 2016

    SN: Your ignorance about Catholicism in Britain from, say 1536 on means you really didn’t get my point about Maryland as a colony.

    How on earth is support for contraception “pro-abortion”? The whole point of contraception is to prevent pregnancy, and if you’re not pregnant, you can’t have an abortion. (Obviously)

    Now, I have to ask, SN, what happens when your religious beliefs are in direct opposition to another person’s religious beliefs? Why should your beliefs win?

    And finally, something that you have never been able to answer in any forum: how does someone else’s personal medical decisions impact you? When that person is not your parent, spouse, or child?
    How does a married woman with two kids’ decision to use an IUD harm you?

  6. #6 See Noevo
    May 20, 2016

    To Justa Tech #5:

    “SN: Your ignorance about Catholicism in Britain from, say 1536 on means you really didn’t get my point about Maryland as a colony.”

    I don’t know what you mean.
    ……….
    “How on earth is support for contraception “pro-abortion”? The whole point of contraception is to prevent pregnancy, and if you’re not pregnant, you can’t have an abortion. (Obviously)”

    Obviously, not.
    While contraception and abortion are *often* different things, sometimes they’re essentially the same thing (i.e. the effect of abortifacient pills).
    In either case, contraception and abortion are intimately related.

    “Now, I have to ask, SN, what happens when your religious beliefs are in direct opposition to another person’s religious beliefs? Why should your beliefs win?”

    Answering that fully would probably require a much more extended response. For now, I’d just say the religious beliefs should win which are most supported by *current* common sense and *historical* norms.

    “… how does someone else’s personal medical decisions impact you? When that person is not your parent, spouse, or child? How does a married woman with two kids’ decision to use an IUD harm you?”

    When it comes to “reproductive technology” (e.g. contraception, vasectomy, abortion), approximately the same impact to me as when one person kills or abuses another person or herself.
    It’s bad enough that it happens. It’s even worse if I’m forced to support it by paying for it with my taxes or insurance premiums.

  7. #7 dean
    United States
    May 24, 2016

    When it comes to “reproductive technology” (e.g. contraception, vasectomy, abortion), approximately the same impact to me as when one person kills or abuses another person or herself.
    It’s bad enough that it happens. It’s even worse if I’m forced to support it by paying for it with my taxes or insurance premiums.

    You are the dictionary picture of an asshole. Contraception, vasectomy have the same impact as when one kills or abuses another? You’re not religious, you’re pure evil.

  8. #8 JustaTech
    May 24, 2016

    Dean @7: Or has such a huge ego that he literally cannot understand that everyone is not him.

    I wonder how SN would do in Douglas Adam’s Total Perspective Vortex?

  9. #9 dean
    United States
    May 24, 2016

    JustaTech:
    When you realize that sn has said he would love to meet the current pope and “set him straight on Catholic doctrine”, that “people are poor because they deserve to be”, and, in a discussion of on ‘Starts With A Bang’, that people shouldn’t spend time or money researching anything that does not have an immediate application, you have to write his utterances off to delusion rather than simply ego.

  10. #10 dean
    United States
    May 24, 2016

    Sorry, there’s also this classic – which he keeps repeating, without offering any evidence to support his opinion.
    His view of these statements, from a recent exchange on another blog:

    “…”Evolution is one of the key concepts in understanding biology,” said Sara Brownell, senior author of the study and assistant professor with the school.””

    and about

    “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”.

    sn says

    Both statements are absurd. Not a single advance in biology, or in medicine or any other field of science, required or requires a belief in evolution.

    Not the view of a rational, or knowledgeable, person.

    Notice the word “belief” in his comment. He never refers to people understanding any area of science, they only ‘believe’ in a subject. I assume that comes from his religious fervor – there is no evidence, or proof, in his religion, belief does it all – and since he views science as “atheistic religion”, he is incapable of realizing that acceptance of (evolution, the big bang, modern cosmology, etc….) comes from understanding rather than blind faith.