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Women’s Health Policy

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Minimum Contraceptive Coverage Requirements Clarified by HHS Guidance

New HHS clarification on ACA contraceptive coverage requirement specifies that insurance plans must cover at no cost to women all of the 18 contraceptive methods approved by the FDA.  If a provider recommends a specific option or product, plans must cover it at no cost as well. Minimum Contraceptive Coverage…

New Tracker Monitors Affordable Care Act Preventive Services Coverage

The Affordable Care Act requires private insurance plans to cover recommended preventive services with no out-of-pocket charges for patients. This slate of covered services can change when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other authorized groups add or modify recommendations; the federal government also periodically issues clarifications to guide…

Gender Differences in Health Care, Status, and Use: Spotlight on Men’s Health

This slideshow presents findings from the 2013 Kaiser Men’s and Women’s Health Survey on men’s health care, access and coverage, and draws comparisons to women’s health care. The slideshow also presents findings for low-income and uninsured men, including financial barriers to care, frequency of clinician visits, use of prescription drugs, and the likelihood of getting counseling and screenings, such as HIV tests.

Abortion Coverage in Marketplace Plans, 2015

This brief analyzes state policies and insurer coverage decisions affecting the availability of abortion coverage in 2015 insurance plans offered through the Marketplaces. It finds that abortion coverage is unavailable in a total of 31 states, 24 of which have enacted laws that ban or restrict abortion coverage in plans sold through their Marketplaces and 7 of which have no abortion coverage restrictions but also have no Marketplace plans offering it.

Federal and State Standards for “Essential Community Providers” under the ACA and Implications for Women’s Health

Safety net providers such as community health centers and family planning clinics have served a significant role in the provision of primary care and reproductive health care services to low-income and uninsured people, particularly women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a provision aimed at assuring that newly-insured individuals, as well as those without coverage, can continue seeing their trusted safety net providers, also called Essential Community Providers (ECPs). This brief reviews the definition of ECPs, examines the federal and state rules that govern the extent to which plans must include these providers in their networks, identifies the variation from state to state, and discusses the particular importance of these rules and providers for women’s access to care.

Medicaid and Family Planning: Background and Implications of the ACA

This brief reviews the role of Medicaid in financing and enabling access to family planning services for low-income women; discusses how states have expanded access to these services with Medicaid; and highlights future programmatic challenges in the context of the health care delivery and coverage reforms resulting from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Coverage of Contraceptive Services: A Review of Health Insurance Plans in Five States

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private plans to provide coverage for women’s preventive health care, including all prescribed FDA-approved contraceptive services, without cost sharing. To better understand how this provision is being implemented by health plans, Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) staff, with the Lewin Group, reviewed the insurance plan coverage policies for 12 prescribed contraceptive methods (excluding oral contraceptives). This report presents information from 20 different insurance carriers in five states (California, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas) about how they are applying reasonable medical management (RMM) techniques in their coverage of women’s contraceptive services. The different forms of female birth control reviewed in this report include the contraceptive ring, the patch, injections, implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and sterilization.

Round 2 on the Legal Challenges to Contraceptive Coverage: Are Nonprofits “Substantially Burdened” by the “Accommodation”?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services including Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prescription contraceptives and services for women. Since the implementation of the ACA contraceptive coverage requirement in 2012, over 200 corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that including coverage for contraceptives or opting for an “accommodation” from the federal government violates their religious beliefs. This brief explains the legal issues raised by the nonprofit litigation and discusses the impact of the Hobby Lobby decision on the current litigation.

Data Note: Are Nonprofits Requesting an Accommodation for Contraceptive Coverage?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services, including most contraceptives for women. This policy was at the center of a Supreme Court case brought forward by for-profit corporations (Hobby Lobby and Conestoga) that successfully claimed that the contraceptive coverage requirement violated their religious rights. Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear yet another challenge (Zubik v Burwell) to the contraceptive coverage requirement, this time brought by nonprofit corporations, claiming that the accommodation established by the federal government for religiously affiliated nonprofit employers with objections to contraception violates their religious rights.

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