Rep. Sewell Applauds Passage of Legislation Ensuring Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) applauded the passage of H.R. 239, the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act. This legislation would prevent the Department of Veterans Affairs from requiring co-pays from veterans for contraceptive care, ensuring that women veterans have equal access to the same no-cost contraceptives as their non-veteran counterparts.
“This is an issue of fairness,” said Rep. Sewell. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, women using civilian health insurance do not pay co-pays to access basic contraceptive services. The same should be true for women receiving care through the VA who have honorably served our Nation. I was proud to cast my vote for the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act to eliminate this disparity and ensure that all women have equal access to the critical health care services they need.”
There are currently 20 million women veterans in the United States who comprise the fastest growing group of veterans enrolling in health care through the Veterans Health Administration (VA). Sadly, many of their health needs go unaddressed in a VA system that has not evolved to equitably serve a changing population.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, basic contraceptive services are available without a co-pay to all women with civilian health insurance. Active-duty service members enjoy access to no-cost contraception through TRICARE. However, women veterans are routinely charged co-pays to access contraception through the VA, placing an unfair burden on women who have served our nation honorably.
The Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act eliminates this disparity by prohibiting the Department of Veterans Affairs from requiring payment from a veteran for any contraceptive item that is required to be covered by health insurance plans without a cost-sharing requirement.
The Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act can be found here.