Contraceptive insurance coverage gets boost in two states

March 1, 2006

New Jersey is now the 24th state to pass a law providing contraceptive insurance equity. The new law, A.B. 292, requires most insurers in the state to provide coverage of prescription contraceptive drugs and devices. The law provides an exemption for qualifying religious employers if contraceptive coverage conflicts with the employer's "bona fide religious beliefs and practices," according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (Government Relations Newsletter, 1/13/2006).

New Jersey is now the 24th state to pass a law providing contraceptive insurance equity. The new law, A.B. 292, requires most insurers in the state to provide coverage of prescription contraceptive drugs and devices. The law provides an exemption for qualifying religious employers if contraceptive coverage conflicts with the employer's "bona fide religious beliefs and practices," according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (Government Relations Newsletter, 1/13/2006).

Also, a NY court of appeals recently upheld the state's contraceptive insurance equity law. At issue was whether religious organizations should be exempt from the law based on moral grounds, or an opposition to contraception. The law already exempts religious employers whose main purpose is to promote a particular faith and serve those who believe in that faith. The court upheld the law, noting that its intent was to "increase women's access to health care"-not target religious practices.