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Reproductive Health Equity Act: Frequently Asked Questions

Reproductive Health Equity Act: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Reproductive Health Equity Act?

On August 15th, 2017, Governor Brown signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act (House Bill 3391) into law. The Reproductive Health Equity Act:

There are several new benefits in the bill that will be implemented over the next two years.

How does this law benefit transgender and gender-nonconforming Oregonians?

As of August 15th, 2017, commercial health plans regulated by the State of Oregon are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of gender identity, ensuring access to healthcare for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

What are the new benefits for undocumented Oregonians?

Starting January 1st, 2018, Oregon women who have been excluded from Medicaid coverage because of their citizenship status will now have access to reproductive health care. These services include:

In addition, starting January 1st, 2018, women receiving services through the CAWEM Plus prenatal care program will be able to access comprehensive medical care for 60 days during the postpartum period.

What benefits are protected for people with private health insurance?

This law guarantees commercial health plans regulated by the State of Oregon will continue to cover the preventive services covered for women by the Affordable Care Act at no out-of-pocket cost, regardless of what happens at the federal level. These services include:

Does this law guarantee abortion coverage at no out-of-pocket cost?

Starting January 1st, 2019, commercial health plans regulated by the State of Oregon will be required to cover abortion with no out-of-pocket costs, even if the patient has to go out of network for care.

How does this law benefit men?

Starting January 1st, 2019, commercial health plans regulated by the State of Oregon will be required to cover reproductive health services for men as well as women. This includes coverage for STI screening and vasectomy at no out-of-pocket cost. Oregon’s Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan, already provides vasectomy and STI screening for men at no out-of-pocket cost.

Does this law apply to all private health insurance plans in Oregon?

The Reproductive Health Equity Act applies to all commercial health plans regulated by the State of Oregon, including those plans purchased through HealthCare.gov.

It does not apply to federal health plans, such as the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), TRICARE or Civilian Health or Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS), nor does it apply to self-funded plans or other plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

In compliance with federal policy, religious employers like churches are allowed to have plans that do not cover contraceptives or abortion. Under the Reproductive Health Equity Act, health insurers that already exclude abortion coverage in all of their plans are exempt from the law’s requirement to cover abortion, and will not be required to start. To ensure Oregonians covered by religious employers or exempted health plans have access to the abortion care they need, the Oregon Health Authority is required to develop a plan to fill these gaps in coverage by November 1st, 2017.

What are the new benefits for people with Medicaid/OHP and people covered by Public Employee Benefit Plans?

Oregon’s Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan, and public employee benefit plans like PEBB and OEBB are already required to include comprehensive reproductive health coverage including abortion. The Reproductive Health Equity Act does not expand or detract from coverage requirements for these plans.

Posted on November 29, 2017 in News.
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