California’s Contraceptive Equity Act Of 2022 Expands Access To Contraceptive Care

CATEGORY: Client Update for Public Agencies
CLIENT TYPE: Public Employers
DATE: Aug 07, 2023

Earlier this year the Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022 (the Act) went into effect with the purposes of increasing the ability of Californians to exercise full control over their reproductive decisions.  While the Act is widely known for adding “reproductive health decision-making” to the list of protected classifications under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the Act will continue to make changes governing health care service plans and health insurance policies next year.

California was the first state in the country to require coverage of birth control methods without cost sharing or restrictions.  However, recent attacks on birth control access and the structural inequalities that disproportionately affect low-income people and communities of color in accessing birth control services incentivized the California legislature to codify the expansion of contraceptive coverage.

Beginning January 1, 2024, the Act expands coverage of contraceptives by a health care service plan contract or health insurance policy by requiring the following:

  • A prescription shall not be required to trigger coverage of over-the-counter FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and products.
  • Point-of-sale health coverage must provide over-the-counter FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and products at in-network pharmacies without cost sharing or medical management restrictions.
  • Health care services plans and insurance policies offered by public or private higher learning institutions that directly provide health care services to only its students, faculty, staff, administration, and their respective dependents must comply with the law’s existing contraceptive coverage requirements.
  • Health care service plans must provide coverage for clinical services related to the use contraception.
  • Health care services plans are prohibited from imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement for vasectomy services and procedures.

Heading into 2024, employers should review their health care plans to ensure their plans comply with the Act’s requirements.

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