48.43.071  <<  48.43.072 >>   48.43.073

Required contraceptive coverageRestrictions on copayments, deductibles, and other form of cost sharing.

*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 5602-S2.SL) ***
(1) A health plan issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2019, shall provide coverage for:
(a) All contraceptive drugs, devices, and other products, approved by the federal food and drug administration, including over-the-counter contraceptive drugs, devices, and products, approved by the federal food and drug administration;
(b) Voluntary sterilization procedures;
(c) The consultations, examinations, procedures, and medical services that are necessary to prescribe, dispense, insert, deliver, distribute, administer, or remove the drugs, devices, and other products or services in (a) and (b) of this subsection.
(2) The coverage required by subsection (1) of this section:
(a) May not require copayments, deductibles, or other forms of cost sharing, unless the health plan is offered as a qualifying health plan for a health savings account. For such a qualifying health plan, the carrier must establish the plan's cost sharing for the coverage required by subsection (1) of this section at the minimum level necessary to preserve the enrollee's ability to claim tax exempt contributions and withdrawals from his or her health savings account under internal revenue service laws and regulations; and
(b) May not require a prescription to trigger coverage of over-the-counter contraceptive drugs, devices, and products, approved by the federal food and drug administration.
(3) A health carrier may not deny the coverage required in subsection (1) of this section because an enrollee changed his or her contraceptive method within a twelve-month period.
(4) Except as otherwise authorized under this section, a health benefit plan may not impose any restrictions or delays on the coverage required under this section, such as medical management techniques that limit enrollee choice in accessing the full range of contraceptive drugs, devices, or other products, approved by the federal food and drug administration.
(5) Benefits provided under this section must be extended to all enrollees, enrolled spouses, and enrolled dependents.
(6) This section may not be construed to allow for denial of care on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, marital status, age, citizenship, immigration status, or disability.


FindingsDeclarations2018 c 119: "The legislature finds and declares that:
(1) Washington has a long history of protecting gender equity and women's reproductive health;
(2) Access to the full range of health benefits and preventive services, as guaranteed under the laws of this state, provides all Washingtonians with the opportunity to lead healthier and more productive lives;
(3) Reproductive health care is the care necessary to support the reproductive system, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom and services necessary to decide if, when, and how often to do so, which can include contraception, cancer and disease screenings, abortion, preconception, maternity, prenatal, and postpartum care. This care is an essential part of primary care for women and teens, and often reproductive health issues are the primary reason they seek routine medical care;
(4) Neither a woman's income level nor her type of insurance should prevent her from having access to a full range of reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion services;
(5) Restrictions and barriers to health coverage for reproductive health care have a disproportionate impact on low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, and young women, and these women are often already disadvantaged in their access to the resources, information, and services necessary to prevent an unintended pregnancy or to carry a healthy pregnancy to term;
(6) This state has a history of supporting and expanding timely access to comprehensive contraceptive access to prevent unintended pregnancy;
(7) Existing state and federal law should be enhanced to ensure greater contraceptive coverage and timely access for all individuals covered by health plans in Washington to all methods of contraception approved by the federal food and drug administration;
(8) Nearly half of pregnancies in both the United States and Washington are unintended. Unintended pregnancy is associated with negative outcomes, such as delayed prenatal care, maternal depression, increased risk of physical violence during pregnancy, low birth weight, decreased mental and physical health during childhood, and lower education attainment for the child;
(9) Access to contraception has been directly connected to the economic success of women and the ability of women to participate in society equally;
(10) Cost-sharing requirements and other barriers can dramatically reduce the use of preventive health care measures, particularly for women in lower income households, and eliminating cost sharing and other barriers for contraceptives leads to sizable increases in the use of preventive health care measures;
(11) It is vital that the full range of contraceptives are available to women because contraindications may restrict the use of certain types of contraceptives and because women need access to the contraceptive method most effective for their health;
(12) Medical management techniques such as denials, step therapy, or prior authorization in public and private health care coverage can impede access to the most effective contraceptive methods;
(13) Many insurance companies do not typically cover male methods of contraception, or they require high cost sharing despite the critical role men play in the prevention of unintended pregnancy; and
(14) Restrictions on abortion coverage interfere with a woman's personal, private pregnancy decision making, with his or her health and well-being, and with his or her constitutionally protected right to safe and legal medical abortion care." [ 2018 c 119 § 1.]
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