Late on Wednesday April 25, the Connecticut House of Representatives began debating H.B. 5210, “An Act Mandating Insurance Coverage of Essential Health Benefits and Expanding Mandated Health Benefits for Women, Children and Adolescents.” The bill passed the house with bipartisan support and a vote of 114 – 32 in the early hours of this morning.
The bill protects in state law the 10 essential benefits and women’s preventive services as currently mandated in the Affordable Care Act, for insurance plans in Connecticut. The bill also has a provision to allow for a 12-month supply of birth control to be dispensed at one time, if a physician approves, a measure that has been passed in other states and proven to further lower the rate of unintended pregnancies. If this bill reaches final passage, women in Connecticut will be guaranteed the access to birth control with no cost sharing that they currently enjoy.
Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Sarah Croucher, said, “Before the Affordable Care Act, many women struggled to get adequate coverage for reproductive healthcare and to afford birth control. This bill will protect gains we have made here in Connecticut in reproductive health, and will continue to move us forward. We are delighted to see such smooth passage in the House and we look forward to H.B. 5210 rapidly passing in the Senate.”