BALTIMORE (WJZ) — On January 1, people in Maryland will have more access to getting birth control as a new law is set to go into effect.
According to our news partners at The Baltimore Sun, the new law requires insurers to provide most forms of birth control with no out-of-pocket costs to the patient. The law also requires insurers to cover vasectomies, or sterilization for men without charging out-of-pocket expenses. Insurers must also pay for the over-the-counter birth control, including the Plan B emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill.
Birth control pills and other contraception will be available in six-month doses, rather than having to refill a prescription every month. They will no longer have to get pre-authorization from an insurance company to get implants and IUDs, which slowly release spermicide or hormones into the body to prevent pregnancy.
The bill was signed into law in 2016 and it’s among a dozen states that have strengthened birth control laws in response to gap sin insurance coverage and political threats to the Affordable Care Act. Despite the bill being signed in 2016, it did not go into effect right away to give insurers time to prepare. The law applies only to insurers regulated by the state of Maryland. Some plans offered to people in the state will not be covered, such as those that are issued from other states.