Impact of ACA Preventive Services Requirements On Contraceptive Coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates two new preventive services standards that will impact access to contraceptives: 1) the preventive services category of the Essential Health Benefits (EHB); and, 2) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) women?s preventive services guidelines (WPS). HHS has defined the WPS standard as including robust contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing. Though the content of the EHB standard is still in development and will likely vary from state to state, HHS preregulatory guidance affirms that the EHB will include the same services, including contraception, that are required under the WPS guidelines. Whether the same cost-sharing protections will also be incorporated into the EHB is not yet known. Aside from the EHB and WPS standards, the Medicaid program has longstanding family planning coverage requirements that will continue to guarantee contraceptive coverage for enrollees. This table summarizes how these standards will apply to different types of public and private insurance coverage.

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