July 01, 1998
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts July 1998 Current Issue
July 1998
AppleShort Cuts:

Is contraception necessary? That question is at the root of a debate over whether insurance companies should pay for birth control. Fewer than half cover prescription contraception, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Yet, 90 percent cover most other prescriptions.

"There's nothing optional about contraception. It's a medical necessity for women," according to Dr. Luella Klein, director of women's health issues for ACOG. "This insurance exclusion makes no economic or medical sense and raises gender discrimination issues," said Klein in a statement released by ACOG.

ACOG is backing a proposal that would require insurers to cover all FDA-approved drugs and devices, including oral contraceptives, IUDs, Depo-Provera, Norplant, diaphragms and cervical caps. If the federal law doesn't pass, states can make their own rules. Similar bills have been introduced in 20 states; Maryland will enact a law in October mandating coverage of oral contraceptives.

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