Monday, February 16, 2009

In the News

Letter: Choice is only option

Panel set to debate contraception issue

Bill would mandate insurance coverage

Elizabeth Reiss
Brenda Wade Schmidt

A Senate committee is scheduled to decide Wednesday whether a bill
that would require insurance companies to pay for prescription contraceptives should advance to the full legislative body.Senate Bill 134, called a contraception equality bill, would require medical insurance plans that offer general prescription benefits to include coverage of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives.

The issue will be discussed in the Senate health and human services
committee, where chairman Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, has helped sponsor the bill. At least one lawmaker who supports the bill said fairness is the issue.

Sen. Sandy Jerstad, D-Sioux Falls, serves on the health and human
services committee. She said drugs that help couples get pregnant are covered, so drugs that prevent pregnancies also should be. The change would create minimal cost for insurance companies, she said.The bill includes an exception for employers who oppose contraceptives for religious reasons.


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