The state of Maryland just passed a law that will require all insurance companies to provide free over-the-counter birth control options. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill, which is called the Contraceptive Equity Act. The bill will eliminate most of the copays associated with birth control and vasectomies, as long as you have health insurance.
This bill makes history by being the first act to cover the morning-after pill or Plan B, which can cost up to $60 for one pill. The bill also has great benefits that allow for individuals to receive up to six months of contraception at a time and eliminates the need for a prescription.
Oftentimes a birth control prescription is unable to be filled without consent from a doctor, which requires a doctor visit, which is another payment. This plan would cut out the additional costs.
Although the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) requires that all insurance plans offer free birth control, many types of birth control are not covered. Now, with the Contraceptive Equity Act, the gap between the insurance companies and the consumers will be closed, allowing for a more diverse coverage plan.
The law will take effect in the year 2018, giving people enough time to enroll in a health care plan, which is a requirement if you want to have access to free birth control. Although this is a good idea in theory, it should be known that many state plans for Maryland can be costly. Under the current Affordable Care Act in Maryland, residents can pay anywhere from $124 premium bronze plan to a $600 premium gold plan. Those premiums are paid on a monthly basis, and chances are if you are in need of free birth control, those insurance costs could be detrimental to your financial situation.
With the signing of this law, Maryland joins 25 other states that already have a Contraceptive Equity Law, including California, Illinois, New York, Vermont and Wisconsin.