Senate Bill 37 History
Senate Bill No. 37
(By Senators Chafin and Foster)
[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the Committee
on Banking and Insurance; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §33-16E-1, §33-16E-2,
§33-16E-3, §33-16E-4, §33-16E-5 and §33-16E-6, all relating to
requiring health insurance plans to cover the cost of
contraceptives for its covered people.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §33-16E-1, §33-16E-2,
§33-16E-3, §33-16E-4, §33-16E-5 and §33-16E-6, all to read as
ARTICLE 16E. CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE.
§33-16E-1. Short title.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(1) Contraceptives enhance the health of women, including the
prevention of certain cancers, endometriosis and anemia;
(2) Contraceptives prevent unintended pregnancy;
(3) Planned pregnancies lead to healthier pregnancies,
children and families;
(4) Contraceptive coverage provides West Virginians with
critical access to birth control; and
(5) Under current standards, women of childbearing age must
pay more for basic health care than men in the same age group
because they must pay for birth control out-of-pocket.
(b) Therefore, the Legislature finds that contraceptives are
basic health care for West Virginia's women and families. Health
insurance plans should be required to cover contraceptives.
(a) For the purposes of this article, the words and phrases
defined in this section have the meanings ascribed to them. These
definitions are applicable unless a different meaning clearly
appears from the context.
(b) "Covered person" means the policyholder, subscriber,
certificate holder, enrollee or other individual who is
participating in, or receiving coverage under, a health insurance
(c) "Health insurance plan" means any individual or group
plan, policy, certificate, subscriber contract, or contract of
insurance provided by a managed care plan, preferred provider
agreement, or health maintenance organization that is delivered, issued, renewed, modified, amended or extended by a health insurer
in this state that pays for or purchases health care services for
(d) "Health insurer" means a disability insurer, health care
insurer, health maintenance organization, accident and sickness
insurer, fraternal benefit society, nonprofit hospital service
corporation, health service corporation, health care service plan,
preferred provider organization or arrangement or multiple employer
(e) "Outpatient contraceptive services" means consultations,
examinations, procedures and medical services, provided on an
outpatient basis and related to the use of contraceptive drugs and
devices to prevent pregnancy.
(f) "Contraceptives" means drugs or devices approved by the
food and drug administration to prevent pregnancy.
§33-16E-3. Parity for contraceptive drugs, devices and outpatient
(a) Health insurance plans that provide benefits for
prescription drugs or devices may not exclude or restrict benefits
to covered persons for any prescription contraceptive drug or
device approved by the federal food and drug administration.
(b) Health insurance plans that provide benefits for
outpatient services provided by a health care professional may not
exclude or restrict outpatient contraceptive services for covered persons.
§33-16E-4. Extraordinary surcharges prohibited.
A health insurance plan is prohibited from:
(1) Imposing deductibles, copayments, other cost-sharing
mechanisms, or waiting periods for prescription contraceptive drugs
or devices greater than deductibles, copayments, other cost-sharing
mechanisms or waiting periods for other covered prescription drugs
(2) Imposing deductibles, copayments, other cost-sharing
mechanisms or waiting periods for outpatient contraceptive services
greater than such deductibles, copayments, other cost-sharing
mechanisms or waiting periods for other covered outpatient
§33-16E-5. Additional prohibitions.
A health insurance plan is prohibited from:
(1) Denying eligibility, enrollment or renewal of coverage to
any individual because of their use or potential use of
(2) Providing monetary payments or rebates to covered persons
to encourage them to accept less than the minimum protections
available under this section.
(3) Penalizing, or otherwise reducing or limiting the
reimbursement of a health care professional because such
professional prescribed contraceptive drugs or devices, or provided contraceptive services.
(4) Providing incentives, monetary or otherwise, to a health
care professional to induce such professional to withhold
contraceptive drugs, devices or services from covered persons.
In addition to any remedies at common law, the insurance
commissioner shall receive and review written complaints regarding
compliance with this section. The insurance commissioner may use
all investigatory tools available to verify compliance with this
section. If the insurance commissioner determines that a health
insurance plan is not in compliance with any section in this
article, the commissioner shall:
(1) Impose a fine of ten thousand dollars for each violation
of this section. An additional ten thousand dollars shall be
imposed for every thirty days that a health insurance plan is not
in compliance; or
(2) Suspend or revoke the certificate of authority or deny the
health insurer's application for a certificate of authority.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require insurers to
cover the cost of contraceptives acquired by covered persons, just
as it would for any other medication.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.