New Rules? Who could be affected?
On October 6, 2017, new regulations made it easy for almost any employer to opt out of providing birth control coverage based on religious or moral objections. Therefore, any employer has the power to not offer coverage for any methods of contraception to their employees.
Before, under the Affordable Care Act, birth control was required to be fully covered by insurance plans. Employers who refused were granted an accommodation which granted employers to opt out of paying for birth control, however, coverage must have still been accessible to employees without copays (out-of-pocket). Now, any employer or entities who refuse to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage requirement will be given an exemption and pardoned.
High rates of teenage and unplanned pregnancies have been linked to underserved, low-socioeconomic areas which often lack access to healthcare, including birth control. With the new rules in place, more will lose access to care because of unaffordable costs, lack of insurance, and poor access to services. Millions of women across the country will lose contraceptive coverage– including over 4 million Texas women– who depend on the coverage guarantee for no-cost birth control and contraceptive services.
Healthy Futures of Texas promotes access to preventive healthcare and partners with CentroMed to link teens and adults to family planning services. In addition, through our Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition project, HFTX also works toward access to contraception and other preventive care for ALL Texas women. Everyone should have the opportunity to stay healthy, avoid unplanned pregnancy, and plan for healthy pregnancies.