The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama’s announced implementation of Health and Human Services guidelines requiring insurers to provide women employees and women dependents, including those of religiously-affiliated institutions, birth control without co-pays or deductibles. The President’s announced accommodation for religiously-affiliated hospitals, universities, and charities, which requires insurers to provide birth control without cost to women employees, respects women’s health needs. The rule, however, still exempts women employees of churches, synagogues, temples and mosques; but fortunately, some of them will voluntarily cover contraceptives without co-pays.
“Ninety-nine percent of women, at some time during their lives, need access to contraceptives, but approximately half of them today cannot afford it. Now finally the vast majority of insured women will have access without co-pays or deductibles. This is a win-win solution. We are determined that political opponents of the Affordable Care Act will not take the preventive care package away from women. The Affordable Care Act is ensuring that women are not discriminated against in health care,” stated Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Although not a part of today’s announcement, we want to emphasize that women students at religiously-affiliated universities will also have access to birth control without co-pays or deductibles from their insurance plans provided by insurance companies.
The Affordable Care Act preventive care package now includes the following without co-pays or deductibles: approved contraceptives both for birth control and for treatment of several illnesses, as well as annual well-woman visits and cancer screenings, counseling, such as for domestic and interpersonal violence, testing for HIV and STIs, breastfeeding support, and lactation services and supplies.