By Jordan Monaghan
Governor Roy Cooper has signed a letter calling on U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to take additional steps to ensure that all forms of contraception are affordable and accessible. Governor Cooper serves on the Executive Committee of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance that coordinated the multi-state letter.
“It’s absolutely essential that birth control be affordable and accessible for as many Americans as possible,” said Governor Cooper. “Women shouldn’t have to jump through unnecessary hoops or spend a fortune to access basic health care like birth control, and I encourage the federal government to take action to help.”
The governors urge the federal government to clarify that non-prescription contraception will be covered without cost-sharing under private health insurance plans subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations and to take any steps possible to ensure it is covered by Medicare and Medicaid. They write:
“On July 13, 2023, the FDA approved the first over-the-counter (OTC) daily birth control pill, a development that could revolutionize access to contraception in the United States. This medication is expected to be released to the public shortly. Prior to that release, we urge you to take all necessary and available steps to ensure that this non-prescription OTC option will be covered without cost-sharing under private health insurance plans subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, Medicare, and Medicaid.”
“As Governors, we see firsthand the need for affordable and accessible reproductive health coverage in our communities. In forming the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, we vowed to safeguard and improve reproductive healthcare access in the face of an unprecedented assault on the right to primary healthcare. We urge your departments to promptly disseminate new guidance on coverage of [over-the-counter] contraception and join us in expanding access to reproductive healthcare for the most vulnerable populations in our country.”
A full copy of the letter can be found here.