I was told that my college insurance plan does not pay for contraceptives. Can that be right?
The rules affecting student health plans are complicated and depend on the type of plan your college or university may offer. If your student health plan is fully-insured, it should cover all 18 FDA-approved contraceptive methods for women as prescribed, without cost sharing. However, if your college or university has a religious objection to providing contraceptive coverage, then it may have opted to have the insurance company provide the coverage directly to policyholders. Some universities have legally challenged the contraceptive coverage rule. While this litigation is ongoing, some universities may have excluded contraceptive coverage from their student health plan.
If your college has a self-funded health plan, then it is not subject to requirements under the Affordable Care Act, including covering contraceptives with no cost sharing. Ask your college if the plan is self-funded. If it is self-funded, state laws that may require some coverage of contraceptives. Check with your State Insurance Department about the state law. You may have other options as well. If you are under 26, you should check if you are eligible as a dependent in your parent’s health plan. You can also consider buying coverage on your own through the Marketplace. If your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level and you meet other requirements, you can qualify for premium tax credits; if you income is between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level, you can also qualify for cost sharing reductions. In addition, you might be eligible for Medicaid. Check with your state Marketplace to find out if you meet the income and other eligibility standards to enroll in Medicaid coverage.