Birth control is not controversial: 99 percent of sexually active women use it at some point in their lives.*
Women use birth control for all sorts of reasons, including to avoid getting pregnant before they are ready. Making birth control accessible and affordable is the quickest way to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.
At NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, we’re fighting to make sure every woman has access to affordable birth control that is right for her—no matter where she lives, where she works or how much money she makes—so she can control her own future.
* Guttmacher Institute, Contraceptive Use in the United States
Ensuring Birth Control Access
Across the Commonwealth, many women do not have access to the birth control methods that work best for them. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) promised women access to preventive reproductive health care without a copay so that all women, regardless of their economic status, could access basic health care. However, despite this promise, many health plans in Massachusetts continue to charge women a copay for certain types of birth control, including NuvaRing, IUDs, name-brand oral contraceptives, and emergency contraception.
Making matter worse, in October 2017 the Trump administration reversed the contraceptive coverage mandate of the ACA, claiming that there is “uncertainty” about the link between decreasing unintended pregnancies and contraceptive access — an outright and dangerous lie. The rollback allows employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees based on a religious objection or an undefined “moral objection.” The result? Countless Bay Staters are at risk of losing essential contraceptive coverage.
But we were ready for this. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts has been preparing since the day Trump was elected, and we worked relentlessly to be the first state in the nation to respond in support of women.
No-copay preventative healthcare is an economic necessity to women of all backgrounds – especially those who are most vulnerable in our community.
Signed into law on November 20, 2017, the Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in our State (ACCESS) Law ensures that all insurance carriers in Massachusetts provide all FDA-approved contraceptive methods with no copay.
Massachusetts residents and their legislators have sent the Trump administration a strong message: Access to affordable contraception is a basic human right, and is crucial for the economic empowerment of women and their families.
About The ACCESS Law
- Protects coverage without cost-sharing for almost all unique FDA-approved contraceptives.
- Limits the ability of insurers to impose restrictions and delays in coverage, while allowing reasonable medical management within a given contraceptive method category.
- Requires coverage for a single dispensing of birth control intended to last for 12-months. Studies show that unintended pregnancy rate plummets when women have access to a 12-month supply of birth control and the CDC explicitly recommends dispensing a one-year supply.
- Eliminates barriers to no-copay coverage for emergency contraceptives available over-the-counter (OTC).Women will no longer be required to obtain a prescription for OTC emergency contraception in order for it to be covered without co-pay.
The ACCESS Law went into effect on May 20, 2018.