Copyright (c) 2006 Drake University
Drake Law Review
INSURANCE LAW ANNUAL: NOTE: A STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MANDATED STATE CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE IN IOWA AND MISSOURI AND THE CASE FOR A FEDERAL LAW
54 Drake L. Rev. 509
Katie Ervin Carlson*
In the wake of reproductive rights advocacy and the rise of insurance coverage for Viagra, many states have passed laws requiring individual group insurance providers to cover prescription contraceptives when other prescription drugs are covered. 1 A federal bill requiring such contraceptive coverage has repeatedly failed in Congress. 2 Women in this country are subject to a "gender tax" - meaning they earn less pay for comparable work, earn lower social security benefits because they spend time out of the workforce to raise a family, and face higher healthcare costs. 3 The Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act of 2003 (EPICC) 4 seeks to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 5 to prohibit insurance companies from refusing to cover contraceptives when other forms of prescription drugs and devices are covered. 6
Part II of this Note will examine state laws that currently mandate contraceptive coverage. In addition, it will distinguish between self-insured ERISA plans and those plans that are subject to state regulation. It will also address the arguments in favor of contraceptive coverage, and the impact of two landmark decisions regarding coverage. Part III will examine the effectiveness of two very different contraceptive coverage laws passed in Iowa and Missouri by analyzing state abortion statistics. Finally, Part IV concludes by offering additional options for relief in those states.
Senators Olympia J. Snowe (EPICC's original author and subsequent author on re-introduction) and Harry Reid first introduced EPICC in 1997 ...
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