Think your birth control will always be covered? Think again

The Senate discusses a bill that would wreak havoc on women's insurance coverage.

Published March 8, 2006 10:00PM (EST)

Hot off the Money Is More Important Than Women wire, this just in from Planned Parenthood:

"Today the United States Senate is considering a bill that would have a serious and damaging impact on health coverage for women across the United States. The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMAA), introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), would allow insurance companies to ignore nearly all state laws that require insurance coverage for certain treatments or conditions, such as laws that require them to include contraceptives in their prescription plans. [Emphasis added by irate Broadsheet poster.]

"This federal legislation would raze hundreds of state laws that ensure patients can get the medical care they need and would

"-- not allow women to designate their ob/gyns as primary care providers

"-- not allow women to seek care directly from their ob/gyns, but would force them to be screened by their primary care doctors first

"-- dismantle coverage for contraception

"-- dismantle coverage for annual cervical cancer exams

"-- not allow women to stay with the same doctor throughout a pregnancy, if that doctor was dropped from the insurance provider."

In short: "Under HIMMAA women will lose contraceptive-equity protections currently guaranteed by state law."

Broadsheet is already hearing from women whose co-pays for "insured" contraception have suddenly, mysteriously, spiked. Let your legislators hear from you.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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