Women’s Health

I was told that my college insurance plan does not pay for contraceptives. Can that be right?

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The rules affecting student health plans are complicated and depend on the type of plan your college or university may offer.  If your student health plan is fully-insured, it should cover all FDA-approved, cleared or granted contraceptive methods for women as prescribed, without cost sharing.  However, if your college or university has a religious or moral objection to providing contraceptive coverage, then it may have opted to have the insurance company provide the coverage directly to policyholders, or it may exclude contraceptive coverage.  

If your college has a self-funded health plan, then it is not subject to requirements under the Affordable Care Act, including covering contraceptives with no cost sharing. Ask your college if the plan is self-funded. If it is self-funded, state laws may require some coverage of contraceptives. Check with your State Insurance Department about the state law. You may have other options as well. If you are under 26, you should check if you are eligible as a dependent in your parent’s health plan.

You can also consider buying coverage on your own through the Marketplace. If your income is at least 100% of the federal poverty level and you meet other requirements, you can qualify for premium tax credits; if your income is between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level, you can also qualify for cost sharing reductions.  Alternatively, you might be eligible for Medicaid. Check with your state Marketplace to find out if you meet the income and other eligibility standards to enroll in Medicaid coverage.

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.