Senate approves bill codifying federal contraceptive coverage in state law


Bill would protect Rhode Islanders if Affordable Care Act is ever struck down


STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Dawn Euer changing state law to match a federal law requiring insurers to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and other contraceptive products without any cost-sharing.

Access to all forms of prescription contraception without any copay is protected federally through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Enacting the same provision in state law would ensure that Rhode Islanders continue to have this protection, even if the federal law is ever overturned.

“The ACA has been under threat since the day it was enacted, and the assault on it continues today, potentially imperiling the health care and rights of all Americans. As we’ve seen with the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that indicated the court’s willingness to overturn 50 years of reproductive health law, we can’t take women’s rights for granted, and we can’t count on the federal government to protect them. Just as Rhode Island codified Roe v. Wade at the state level in 2019, Rhode Island should protect access to safe, effective contraception and related services,” said Senator Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).

The legislation (2022-S 2327A) adds a requirement in state law that mirrors the one in the ACA: that insurance cover all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and other contraceptive products without any cost-sharing, as well as voluntary sterilization procedures, counseling and follow-up services. The coverage applies regardless of whether the item or procedure is intended for contraception or for other health reasons, and all insured people, including covered spouses, domestic partners and dependents, are included. It does not change existing exceptions for religious employers.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives, where House Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence) is sponsoring its House companion bill (2022-H 7631).