Governor Roy Cooper joined five other state governors serving on the Executive Committee of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance in sending a letter this month to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, urging the federal government to take steps to ensure over-the-counter (OTC) birth control will be covered by private health insurance plans and Medicaid at no-cost to the patient.
The letter comes on the heels of the FDA approving the first OTC daily birth control pill this July. The medication is expected to be released to the public shortly. Currently, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers to provide no-cost coverage for all FDA-approved forms of contraception. The governors are asking the federal government to clarify that the new OTC, no-prescription birth control pill also falls under the no-cost ACA mandate.
Furthermore, the governors asked the federal government to ensure that Medicaid recipients can receive OTC birth control without a prescription. This would expand access “to a critical component of reproductive healthcare in communities currently struggling with provider shortages, particularly in rural communities and among communities of color,” the letter states.
Gov. Cooper was joined by Gov. Shapiro (D-PA), Gov. Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Gov. Healey (D-MA), Gov. Newsom (D-CA), and Gov. Pritzker (D-IL).