June 14, 2024

Healt Hid

Because health is very important to us

HHS to health insurers: Remove ‘barriers to contraceptive coverage,’ in new directive

2 min read

Abortion is expected to be an important issue in this year’s presidential election, and the Biden administration has announced steps to expand access to abortion medication and contraception.

On Monday, the 51st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision, President Biden outlined several new actions, including expanding coverage for no-cost contraception through the Affordable Care Act under a new guidance from federal agencies. Federal employees also will receive greater access to contraception under guidelines issued to certain insurers.

“On this day and every day, Vice President Harris and I are fighting to protect women’s reproductive freedom against Republicans’ dangerous, extreme and out-of-touch agenda,” Biden said in a statement. “We stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose and continue to call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe in federal law once and for all.”

Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sent a letter to private insurance companies and state Medicaid and Medicare programs telling them that they must provide no-cost contraception to the people they serve.

“The new guidance comes in response to reports that many plans and insurers continue to impose barriers to contraceptive coverage, such as requiring patients to satisfy step therapy protocols, imposing unduly burdensome administrative requirements or requiring cost-sharing for services that are integral to the application of the preventive service provided,” the department said in a news release.

HHS also is launching a plan to educate patients about the administration’s position that they are entitled to care for pregnancy-related emergencies — including abortion care in some cases — under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.

The Biden campaign, preparing for a possible election rematch against former President Donald Trump, is reminding women voters that Trump’s three Supreme Court appointments were instrumental in overturning Roe v. Wade. The court’s decision cleared the way for Republican-led states across the country to adopt new abortion bans or restrictions. Biden supports passing legislation to codify abortion protections that once were enshrined in Roe, but it likely would require strong Democratic majorities in Congress.

“Until then, my administration is going to keep working to protect women in the wake of the Supreme Court’s extreme decision,” Biden said, referring to the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that officially overturned Roe.

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