Now that Trump has limited the contraceptive coverage mandate, passage of the CCCA is more important than ever.
Fortunately for New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo incorporated the contraceptive coverage mandate of the ACA into New York state regulations in 2017, requiring all NY health insurance policies to cover contraception without co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles. These regulations also allow women to get a full twelve-month supply of contraceptives at one time (after an initial three-month supply).
These regulations are especially important now that Trump has effectively ended the ACA’s contraceptive coverage mandate by allowing any employer, public or private, to deny birth control coverage by claiming a religious or moral objection. The employer need not get permission from or even notify the federal government before ending this coverage. Simply put, unless state law or regulations dictate otherwise, women’s contraceptive coverage is now at the complete discretion of their employers.
While Cuomo’s regulations are immensely helpful for New York women, the state can do even better. The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA) is a bill proposed by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; it passed the NYS Assembly in 2017 and then stalled in the Republican/IDC-led Senate.
The CCCA is better than the current regulations in two important ways:
The CCCA is more comprehensive. It broadens contraceptive coverage to include all forms of FDA-approved contraception, including men’s contraceptive options, like vasectomies. It also makes it easier to use insurance to cover emergency contraception (EC) by authorizing pharmacists to dispense it directly, and adds coverage for contraceptive education and counseling.
Legislation is more permanent than executive action like regulation. Executive actions can always be rolled back by future governors, while legislation is much harder to change.