New guidelines revealed for no-cost FDA-approved contraceptives

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The Biden-Harris administration, has released comprehensive guidance through Frequently Asked Questions to eliminate barriers to contraception, ensuring access to FDA-approved contraceptives at no cost, following President Biden's 2023 Executive Order.

New guidelines revealed for no-cost FDA-approved contraceptives | Image Credit: © MQ-Illustrations - © MQ-Illustrations - stock.adobe.com.

New guidelines revealed for no-cost FDA-approved contraceptives | Image Credit: © MQ-Illustrations - © MQ-Illustrations - stock.adobe.com.

The Biden-Harris administration has announced new guidance to provide access to any FDA-approved contraceptive with no cost.1

Takeaways

  1. The Biden-Harris administration has introduced new guidance to ensure access to any FDA-approved contraceptive without cost.
  2. The guidance was released on January 22, 2024, through Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury.
  3. The Tri-Agencies addressed the issue of barriers implemented by multiple plans and insurers that hinder patients from accessing no-cost contraceptive coverage. They outlined how to cover contraception based on Affordable Care Act requirements.
  4. In 2023, President Biden issued an Executive Order instructing Secretaries to develop plans ensuring comprehensive contraceptive care coverage for any FDA-approved contraceptive without cost-sharing for participants.
  5. Xavier Becerra, head of Health and Human Services, sent a letter to health plans and insurers, emphasizing the guidance's implementation. The letter urges stakeholders to comply with existing standards of access to comprehensive, quality contraception.

On January 22, 2024, the new guidance was released through Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)as part of the Biden Harris administration’s efforts alongside lawmakers to reduce barriers to contraception and reproductive health care, which have been ongoing for several months. The FAQ was released by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (Tri-Agencies).

Multiple plans and insurers have implemented barriers preventing patients from accessing no-cost contraceptive coverage. The Tri-Agencies outlined how to cover contraception based on requirements from the Affordable Care Act by “covering all approved drugs and drug-led devices other than those for which there is a covered therapeutic equivalent.”

In 2023, President Biden issued an Executive Order for Secretaries to develop plans that would ensure comprehensive contraceptive care coverage for any contraceptive approved, granted, or cleared by the FDA. This care should be provided without cost-sharing for participants.

Xavier Becerra, head of Health and Human Services, has sent a letter to health plans and insurers to coincide with the FAQ. The letter makes note of the guidance’s implementation and reminds recipients that the administration will continue to urge health plan sponsors and insurers to remove barriers and ensure individual access to contraceptive care.

“From day 1, the Biden-Harris Administration has made clear that women should have access to the healthcare they need, including contraception and other family planning services,” Becerra wrote.2

“I’m writing to reaffirm that access to reproductive healthcare is a core priority of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to remind all stakeholders of the critical need to comply with existing standards of access to comprehensive, quality contraception—including through Medicaid, Medicare, and under the Affordable Care Act,” Becerra added.

Reference

  1. The Biden-Harris Administration announces new guidance to enable expanded access to all FDA-approved contraceptives without cost. Agile Therapeutics. January 23, 2024. Accessed January 23, 2024. https://ir.agiletherapeutics.com/news-releases/news-release-details/biden-harris-administration-announces-new-guidance-enable
  2. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announces new actions to increase contraceptive care coverage on 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. US Department of Health and Human Services. January 22, 2024. Accessed January 23, 2024. https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2024/01/22/hhs-secretary-xavier-becerra-announces-new-actions-increase-contraceptive-care-coverage-51st-anniversary-roe-v-wade.html
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