Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...
How to Get Emergency Contraception
Are emergency contraceptive pills covered under the Affordable Care Act (health care reform)?
The new health care law requires insurance companies to cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods and to cover them without imposing extra charges, like co-pays. This provision went into effect for new health plans very recently -- starting on August 1, 2012 (or when the new plan year begins) -- so insurance companies are just starting to make these changes, and it is still unclear how EC will be covered. Your plan may not cover every brand of EC, or over-the-counter products. The best way to find out if EC is covered by your plan is to call your insurance company. The National Women’s Law Center provides a very helpful guide to what questions to ask your insurance company to understand your contraceptive coverage. Ask which brands of EC might be covered, and find out if your plan requires a prescription for insurance coverage. If your plan does not cover over-the-counter EC, you may want to get a prescription so that you will have coverage, even though progestin-only EC (like Plan B One-Step or Next Choice) is available without prescription if you are 17 or older.
If you need additional help in figuring out whether EC is covered by your insurance plan, or if you have trouble getting coverage without a co-pay, or if you have been refused EC by a pharmacist, you can get help from the National Women's Law Center contraception hotline at 1-866-PILL4US (1-866-745-5487) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the guidelines on the inclusion of contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act, click here. To read the Institute of Medicine report recommending the coverage of preventive services for women, click here.