Maryland Bill Would Expand Contraception Options - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Bill Would Expand Contraception Options

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ANNAPOLIS, Md.-  A bill considered in Annapolis Wednesday would make it easier for people to obtain low cost contraceptives.  Senate Bill 848 aims to address some loopholes left behind by the Affordable Care Act. 

State Sen. Delores Kelley, D-Baltimore County, says after the Affordable Care Act passed, insurance companies had to make low-cost options available to people for FDA-approved contraceptive methods.  This bill aims to diversify what types of contraceptives are available, but some worry about the cost.

Birth control pills are one of the first methods of contraception that come to mind, but what happens if the pills your insurance will pay for don't work for you? The Maryland Senate bill, which is also supported by Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, D-District 8, aims to address that issue.

"It breaks down some of the cost barriers to contraception," Van Hollen said. "I think we all agree that we should have family planning, and this gives families a tool, another tool, to make sure they can do that."

Planned Parenthood is supportive, saying that the bill would allow people to have alternate options for contraception from their insurance providers, although a co-pay could be applicable.  It's a move some pharmacists on the Eastern Shore see as beneficial.

"They already offer other options for other diseases and other classes of medications, so i think with birth control there should also be more than one option," said Abby Leonard, a pharmacist at Clayton's Pharmacy.

While the bill is aimed to provide more contraception options for women and for men, there are still some who are concerned about the cost.  That was one of state Sen. Addie Eckardt's concerns as she read through the bill.

"A potential increase in expenditures for local governments that purchase fully insured health benefit plans.  So that's what needs to be looked at," said Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore. 

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