Maryland became the first state to require insurance companies to cover the cost of birth control options for both men and women with no out-of-pocket expense.
Governor Hogan signed the Maryland Contraceptive Equity Act Tuesday. The new law provides Maryland men and women expanded access to birth control at a reduced rate.
The bill includes no out-of-pocket costs for men to get vasectomies. The new law will also prohibit co-payments for contraceptives as well as allowing women to receive six months of birth control at one time. In addition, insurance coverage will be available for over-the-counter contraceptive medications and pre-authorization will no longer be required for long-acting reversible contraceptive, like IUDs.
Delegate Ariana Kelly, (D) Montgomery County, said cost is factor in family planning and the new bill will help reduce costs for both men and women.
"Family planning is essential for women's rights and cost is a factor in family planning," she said. "This legislation is going to help to eliminate barriers and reduce cost for women and for men."
The law will go into effect January 1, 2018. Only insurance companies regulated by the state of Maryland will be effected by the new requirement. Those with out of state insurance companies will not experience change.