The National Institute is working, both independently and in partnership, with state and local administrative agencies to expand access to contraception and ensure that women with insurance can confidentially access the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In New York, our support for Raising Women’s Voices’ research on abortion and contraception coverage revealed that many plans offered on the New York State of Health marketplace are not fully complying with the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirements. This led to the creation of a sign-on letter to the New York State of Health and the Department of Financial Services requesting remedies for the issues identified, as well as continued collaboration with those agencies.
Working with partners and through a coalition, the National Institute is addressing confidentiality issues raised as the ACA is implemented. With more people than ever before accessing insurance coverage, standard insurance company policies, such as Explanation of Benefits letters (EOBs) have greater potential to expose confidential information about reproductive health care—for example, by letting a policyholder know that one of their dependents accessed sensitive services such as contraceptive care. The National Institute is supporting its partners in conducting research and administrative and legislative advocacy to address these concerns.
The National Institute partnered this year with the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research at the University of Chicago
to conduct a review
of contraception and abortion coverage among the qualified health plans offered on the Illinois health insurance marketplace. They found significant barriers to care, including difficulty accessing correct information, limits on access to certain contraceptive methods, and failure to comply fully with ACA requirements.