New York will strengthen regulations that require commercial insurers to cover access to contraception and medically necessary abortions, even if Obamacare were to be repealed.
The announcement from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, came on Jan. 21as women’s marches were held throughout the world, led by the Women’s March on Washington.
The new rules from Cuomo, enforced by the state’s Department of Financial Services, would ensure that the birth control coverage required from insurers under the Affordable Care Act would remain, regardless of whether the law is repealed by President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress.
“These regulatory actions will help ensure that whatever happens at the federal level, women in our state will have cost-free access to reproductive health care and we hope these actions serve as a model for equality across the nation,” Cuomo said in a press release.
Under the rules, commercial health insurers must provide coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices without co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles. Insurers are required to cover a three-month supply of birth control the first time a woman obtains it, followed by up to a year’s supply.
The rule would also require commercial insurers to provide coverage for abortion services that are deemed medically necessary without co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles, unless the plan is a high deductible plan.
Trump pledged throughout his campaign that he would repeal the Affordable Care Act if elected. One of his first acts as president on Inauguration Day was to sign an executive order that called on federal agencies to “take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens” of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
In an op-ed written for CNN Saturday, Cuomo wrote that it was the job of the states to “protect reproductive rights, close the wage gap and combat sexual violence.”
Cuomo wrote, “We are entering a new political era in which women across the country may feel that their reproductive rights will be threatened, and all states – not just New York – will have an opportunity to take the lead in improving the status of women through their respective legislatures.”