Gov. Baker Signs Bipartisan Contraceptive Coverage Legislation
Nov 22, 2017 05:05AM
● By Bill Gilman
BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation, An Act Relative to Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in our State (ACCESS), at the State House to protect access to contraception coverage without co-pays for many women across the Commonwealth.
The new law requires health insurers to cover at least one form of each type of FDA-approved birth control and will protect Massachusetts’ residents from any changes to this specific provision of the federal Affordable Care Act. The Governor was joined by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Attorney General Maura Healey, members of the Legislature, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts President and CEO Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, Blue Cross Blue Shield President and CEO Andrew Dreyfus, as well as additional stakeholders and state officials.
“We are proud to join our colleagues in the legislature to protect women’s health care and access to family planning services,” said Governor Baker. “Massachusetts leads the country in health care with nearly universal coverage, and signing this important, bipartisan bill into law ensures critical access to contraceptive coverage for women across the Commonwealth.
“All women deserve the right to affordable, reliable and safe contraceptive care,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “This is not only a health issue, but one of equity as well. Being able to make decisions about contraception is one of the most influential factors in whether women complete their education and achieve their career goals. I’m proud that Massachusetts did the right thing in the face of shameful decisions on the federal level.”
“Without assurances from the Federal government to protect women's healthcare and access to contraception, Massachusetts is re-asserting our values by standing up for our mothers, daughters, friends and neighbors by ensuring access to no-pay contraception,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst).
“Every woman should have affordable and reliable access to the birth control option that is best for her. It is basic health care. We must do everything we can to protect the rights of women and families here in Massachusetts. I thank the House and Senate for their leadership on this legislation and Governor Baker for signing this critical bill into law,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
“Blue Cross has a long history of working collaboratively to develop innovative, cost-effective solutions to challenges in health care delivery,” said Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “We’re proud to support this legislation that once again establishes Massachusetts as a model for the rest of the country.”