Health Care Plans Must Cover Contraceptives

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decided Wednesday that employers that provide health insurance coverage for preventative treatments are required by law to include contraceptives in the coverage. Health plans that do not already cover preventative treatments may not be required to cover contraceptives. The debate over including contraceptives in health insurance plans erupted when insurance companies covered the cost of the male impotence drug Viagra, but did not pay for the cost of birth control, even though both drugs are related to sexual activity. The EEOC said excluding contraceptives from health care plans violates the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which makes discrimination against a woman “affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions” illegal, with regard to her employment and fringe benefits.


Associated Press _ December 14, 2000

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