Philadelphia/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on April 11, 2024
Pennsylvania Insurers CVS and Geisinger to Cover OTC Birth Control, Aligning with Governor Shapiro's Healthcare VisionSource: Unsplash/ Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

In a healthcare shake-up that's set to revolutionize access to birth control across Pennsylvania, CVS Health Plans and Geisinger Health Plans have stepped up to the plate. Aligning themselves with Governor Josh Shapiro's push for easier access to contraceptive care, these insurers have made a pivotal decision. They will now cover over-the-counter birth control, including the recently approved Opill, without charging customers a dime.

“Last week, my Administration issued best practice guidance to health insurers to cover over the counter birth control with or without a prescription – and I called on insurance companies to step up. I am glad to see that CVS Health Plans are joining Geisinger Health Plans to cover Opill without a prescription — and more insurers should follow suit,” said Governor Shapiro, according to a statement. His administration is making a clear thrust towards reproductive healthcare autonomy, ensuring women in the Keystone State aren't hindered by red tape or financial strain when it comes to managing their reproductive health.

Pennsylvania insurers are now nudged to ditch the prescription requirement for OTC contraceptives and to skip the bureaucratic hurdles of the drug exceptions process. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) stands firm, ready to scrutinize any insurer that opts out of this guidance, ensuring they abide by federal standards and still provide seamless access to birth control.

“The Shapiro Administration is committed to supporting women’s freedom to make their own healthcare decisions and the right to access the full scope of reproductive health care. PID is pushing companies to make sure exception processes are not preventing women from obtaining this healthcare,” Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys stated, further putting the pressure on insurers to align with the administration's vision.

Ringing in the changes, the FDA's nod towards Opill – a progestin-only contraceptive – has cut the need for doctor visits for birth control, potentially saving women close to $250 annually. Priced at about $20 per month, it's a game-changer that's readily available on shelves and could significantly curb the alarming rate of unintended pregnancies in America, which stands at a staggering fifty percent.