Review Finds Women Not Getting Coverage Required by ACA

Women may not be getting the health coverage they were guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by by the National Women’s Law Center, and the Obama administration has warned carriers that the practice must stop.

The April report outlined numerous violations by insurers in 15 states, including Ohio, which included excluding dependents from maternity care, limits on breastfeeding services and a failure to provide preventive services and contraception without co-pays or deductibles.

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Late last month, I joined a panel on Capitol Hill to discuss Innovation Ohio’s partnership with NWLC to address shortcomings in plans offered in Ohio in 2014. Our work led to multiple plans modifying their policies for 2015, but the report found that, despite our work, many violations of the law can still be found in policies sold on the Ohio exchange.

The Ohio Department of Insurance, the state agency charged with reviewing and certifying plans for sale on the health exchange and that is headed by Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, was notified of the violations but did not respond.

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The report was covered by the New York Times, National Public Radio and the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Following the report’s release, the Obama administration has issued new guidance to insurance carriers that they must cover all FDA-approved forms of contraception without co-pays or deductibles and provide other preventive services to women without cost-sharing.

A report on the coverage of women’s health services by Ohio insurers, including the results of a second review of plans offered in 2015, will be released in the coming weeks.