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Quality of Life

California Bill Would Guarantee Full Health Plan Birth Control Access

A bill in the California Legislature would require health plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. The bill is being debated just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” ruling, which allowed some employers to deny birth control coverage for religious reasons.

The Affordable Care Act mandates full access to federally approved birth control methods without copayments, delays or denials.

Beth Parker, with Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, says the bill under consideration would require the state to adopt those guidelines.

“It’s looking at what Hobby Lobby did and insuring that the impact of Hobby Lobby does not come to California,” she said.

Nicole Evans with the California Association of Health Plans says this bill would limit an employer’s ability to keep premiums low “by negotiating coverage for certain brands of contraception."

"And instead it would require coverage for all brands of contraceptives,” Evans said.

The bill is now cleared the California Senate. It’s awaiting action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.