Harrisburg, PA - Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman and Acting Secretary for the Department of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine today issued the following statement on a rule released by the Trump Administration allowing more employers to deny coverage for contraceptives, which are covered under the Affordable Care Act at no-cost to consumers as a preventive service.
“I am extremely disappointed by the Trump Administration’s decision to restrict access to medically necessary and often life-saving medication millions of women rely on every day. Birth control is more than just a contraceptive – it is an essential part of care to manage symptoms for endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other medical conditions that millions of women deal with every day. Allowing employers to deny access to these critical medications is cruel and infringes on a woman’s right to obtain medical care that is necessary for her health,” Acting Insurance Commissioner Altman said.
“Fifty-five million women around the country – including more than 2.5 million in Pennsylvania – benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. According to a 2015 study, women in the United States save roughly $1.4 billion annually on the birth control pill due to the mandate. It has also helped the country’s abortion rate reach a historic low.
“It is immoral and unethical to give any employer the ability to take away access to health care from an entire gender," Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. "Birth control pills are a commonly used medication to treat medical conditions such as pelvic pain and migraines due to menstrual periods, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, as well as a safe and effective family planning option. We cannot allow women's health to be reduced to one issue or be jeopardized in any way. "
“Contraceptives like birth control help women continue to be active, healthy participants in society,” Altman said. “Restricting access to contraceptives disproportionately hurts low-income women who may now face large out-of-pocket bills to continue taking medication they may rely on.
“The Trump Administration says they want to make health care more affordable and accessible for more people. Decisions like this move our country in the wrong direction.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Ron Ruman, Insurance, 717-787-3289; April Hutcheson, Health, 717-787-1783, firstname.lastname@example.org -
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