INSURANCE COVERAGE OF PRESCRIPTION CONTRACEPTIVES
Zolman, Robyn E.
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CitationINSURANCE COVERAGE OF PRESCRIPTION CONTRACEPTIVES (2002 Third Year Paper)
AbstractSince the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive in the 1960s, prescription contraceptives have become a major part of womenâ€™s health care. Yet even though contraceptives are central to womenâ€™s health, most insurers refuse to include coverage for prescription contraceptives in their prescription drug plans. This paper explains why contraceptives are vital to womenâ€™s health, and why the refusal to include this coverage in health insurance plans has a discriminatory effect on women. It then describes the developments in the recent movement to mandate that all health plans include prescription contraceptive coverage, detailing the progress that has been made through legislative lobbying in the state legislatures and in Congress, and through litigation in the federal courts. This description emphasizes how the reforms effected on these various government levels interact, and how success on all three levels is necessary to ensure a truly comprehensive national mandate of prescription contraceptive coverage. It also discusses the impact of the movements to switch oral contraceptives to over-the-counter status and to institute a no-fault liability scheme to address products liability suits against contraceptive manufacturers on the contraceptive coverage movement. It concludes that while the contraceptive coverage movement has seen remarkable success, there is much work to be done, and recommends a primary focus on litigation as the most promising strategy for achieving sweeping reform.
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