Sunday, December 27, 2009

Colorado to insurance companies: don't forget 'the pill'

Posted By on Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 7:05 PM

Katie Redding of the Colorado Independent recently wrote about a bill proposed in the Colorado Legislature that would mandate insurance companies cover maternity care, in addition to birth control.

"We do not have a law in CO that addresses [birth control], said Cameron Lewis, spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Insurance. "There have been some actions taken in other states where if you offer something for one sex you have to offer a comparable thing for another. So for example you couldn’t offer Viagra for a man unless you offered birth control for a woman…But in CO we do not have a law or mandate that addresses that."

Last week, Redding further expounded in a Q&A on Rocky Mountain PBS' blog Panorama:

In its current state, the bill would require Colorado health insurance companies issuing plans on the individual market to cover maternity in the same manner that they currently cover sickness or accidents. The bill would also require both individual and group policies to cover pregnancy management, including contraceptive counseling, drugs and devices. But the bill explicitly excludes abortion procedures and services from the definition of pregnancy management. If the bill passes, the mandates would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

Redding goes on to say that though the bill is in its early stages, lines are being drawn.

The debate, right now, is largely fiscal versus moral. Proponents argue that women who can manage their pregnancies and access good prenatal care have healthier babies. Detractors argue that mandates, however important, raise premiums.

Read the bill here.

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