New State Website Offers Contraceptive Coverage Information | WJMN
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services has launched a new website to help people understand insurance coverage for contraception and other reproductive health services.
The site was launched last week, before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortions again. The site details what is covered by different insurance plans, including Medicare and those offered under the Affordable Care Act.
DIFS Director Anita Fox said that given the Supreme Court decisionit is imperative that all Michigan residents know what options are available.
“We know that access to affordable and safe birth control and other reproductive services is really critical to parts of women’s health,” Fox told News 8. “We wanted to make sure that all Michiganders have information about insurance coverage for the different types of services they might need, so everyone can have the best information to make those decisions for their family and with their healthcare professionals.
She continued, “We like to make sure that in every situation where we can do that, there’s no wrong door. So if you come to DIFS and are looking for the information, you can get it.
Fox also said it’s important to note that contraceptives aren’t just used to prevent pregnancy. Many patients use them to treat different health problems.
“Contraceptives can be used for many other things, from treating medical conditions like endometriosis or certain symptoms of painful menstruation to protecting those for whom pregnancy would be dangerous,” Fox said.
According to Fox, every plan offered under the Affordable Care Act covers at least one of 18 Federal Drug Administration-approved birth control methods at no cost.
The DIFS also worked with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to detail the latest changes to make reproductive health services more accessible. Several have been made in recent years. Now, Medicare and Medicaid services will cover patients with postpartum depression for a full year instead of just 60 days. Medicaid patients can now sign up for a 12-month supply of prescribed contraceptives. And MDHHS has proposed a policy to establish Medicaid coverage for doula services.
“MDHHS works tirelessly to provide medical coverage and services to Michigan residents to help them live healthier lives,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “Access to affordable or free contraception is vitally important when it comes to providing reproductive health care services to enable women to plan pregnancy when it is most convenient for them, as well as to their family.”
These details are much more hazy for people with private insurance plans. Fox recommends contacting your insurer directly with any questions, but DIFS can also try to help.
The agency has a live call center — 1.877.999.6442 — which is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Operators can help you answer your questions and direct you to documents or send documents by post to people who do not have Internet access.
“We truly want to be a service to Michigan consumers for all of their insurance and financial services and needs,” Fox said.