Protecting the Birth Control Benefit in the ACA
In this year's legislative session there are two bills which recently had public hearings in the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. The first proposed Senate Bill No. 494, An Act Concerning Health Insurance Cost-Sharing Requirements for Prescription Contraception. The second proposed Senate Bill No. 586 An Act Requiring Health Insurance Coverage for Preventive Care Provided to Female Enrollees and Access to Prescription Contraception Methods.
Birth control is a key part of preventative health care for women. Access to birth control also provides health benefits for women: it improves a woman's ability to control whether and when she can have a child, and help foster the ability to participate in education and workforce. Currently, it's the intent of the majority in Congress and the Trump administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The ACA provides access to health insurance to millions of Americans. Over 55 million women now have access to preventative care services under the ACA with no cost sharing; that's 746,444 of Connecticut women who currently benefit from this ruling. Many women across the state are scared about the future of their reproductive freedom. If ACA is repealed, they would lose access to preventative care benefit, which creates a health and economic burden for women.
The decision to have a child is one of the greatest economic decisions a woman will make in her lifetime. Thanks to the ACA's birth control benefit, many women no longer have to choose between paying for birth control and paying for other necessities. This overall helps with short and long term financial stability, and creates healthier lives for women, children, and families.
If the ACA does get repealed, these bills will be a safety net for so many women. Both of these bills, along with HB 6175 which would protect parts of the ACA should it get repealed, are important to women's health care, and we need legislators to know this. We need phone calls by March 16th to the Insurance and Real Estate committee. To get in contact please call 860-240-0510 and tell them that you are in support of Senate Bill 494, Senate Bill 586 and HB 6175.
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The author is a student at UCONNSchool of Social Work and a Generation Action Intern at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.