Contraceptive Equity

About Contraceptive Equity

“Contraceptive Equity” means that every person can make their own decisions about pregnancy prevention, and contraceptive care is easily accessible and covered at no cost in all health programs. It requires acknowledging the critical role that family planning plays in improving health outcomes and economic security for people of reproductive age and their families, and simultaneously grappling with this country’s history of reproductive coercion. Further, Contraceptive Equity demands that we proactively address the historically inadequate coverage of comprehensive birth control services using a reproductive justice lens. While many states have Contraceptive Parity laws, requiring coverage of contraceptives in the same manner as other prescription drugs, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates federal requirements for contraceptive coverage, Contraceptive Equity remains elusive.

The National Health Law Program’s Model Contraceptive Equity Act (Model Act), which we created after co-sponsoring Contraceptive Equity legislation in California in 2014, goes beyond existing federal standards. The Model Act prevents insurers from erecting service barriers via medical management techniques, like cost-sharing, prior authorization, prescription requirements, gender restrictions, or quantity limitations. Versions of our legislation have been introduced in 40 jurisdictions and enacted in 14 states and Washington, D.C. This type of law is crucial to maintaining and expanding access to reproductive and sexual health care moving forward.