Bill reintroduced mandating insurance coverage for birth control

    Planned Parenthood rally | Charlotte Cooper, Flickr

    A state senator introduced a bill on Thursday aimed at protecting the federal mandate that requires insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs.

    State Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) introduced Senate Bill 388, which would “require health insurance policies to cover the full cost of all FDA-approved [Food and Drug Administration] contraceptive drugs, patient education and counseling on its use, and follow-up medical services, even in the event of changes to health care at the federal level.”

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    Insurers are currently required to cover contraceptive medicine and services under the Affordable Care Act. In 2018, however, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced a rule that gives insurers wide berth to ignore that requirement for religious or moral reasons.

    Winnie Brinks

    In January, Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a lawsuit with several other states opposing that rule. In June, Nessel voiced her concern in an interview with the Advance that the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn decisions like Griswold v. Connecticut, in which it ruled that states could not ban the use of contraception.

    Brinks said in a statement that the bill is meant to give people “the added peace of mind that they will be able to plan for their families and futures responsibly and choose what’s right for their individual situations.”

    The bill is a reintroduction of Senate Bill 458, introduced in 2017 by former state Sen. David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights). Knezek now works as Nessel’s legislative director.

    The bill will be sent to the Senate Committee on Insurance and Banking.

    Derek Robertson
    Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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