Essential Access Health advances policies at the state and federal levels that protect and expand access to quality sexual and reproductive health care for all.
On September 23, 2016, Governor Brown signed into California law two Essential Access Health sponsored bills to improve access to sexual and reproductive health care services. The Direct Access to Reproductive Health Act – AB 1954 (Burke) – prohibits health insurance plans from requiring a referral prior to an enrollee accessing time-sensitive sexual and reproductive health care. SB 999 (Pavley) – Annual Supply of Contraceptives – requires health plans and health insurance policies to cover a 12-month supply of prescribed, FDA-approved self-administered contraceptives, like the ring, patch and oral contraceptives. Both bills take effect January 1, 2017.
Two other bills recently sponsored by Essential Access (as California Family Health Council) are now California law. SB 1053 – the Contraceptive Coverage Equity Act – authored by Senator Holly Mitchell, expanded access to the full range of FDA-approved birth control methods by ensuring that all women in California with a health insurance plan can get their prescribed birth control method of choice without restrictions or out-of-pocket costs. The law took effect January 1, 2016. SB 138 – the Confidential Health Information Act – went into effect on January 1, 2015. Authored by Senator Ed Hernandez, SB 138 protects the personal and sensitive health information of individuals covered under another person's health insurance policy. Visit myhealthmyinfo.org to learn more.
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