Tester Pushes to Protect Women's Access to Contraceptive Coverage

(Big Sandy, Mont.)-Senator Jon Tester is pushing to protect women’s access to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Tester reaffirmed Congress’ intent that the ACA provide contraceptive coverage to women and families, while also appropriately protecting religious freedom. In May, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to resolve the case of Zubick v. Burwell, which aimed to deny women their legal right to copay-free contraceptive coverage.

“Every woman in Montana deserves access to quality health care,” Tester said. “The ACA guarantees that families have access to the health care services that they need, without forcing folks to violate their religious beliefs. No employer should be in the business of denying women access to health care.”

The ACA requires all health insurance plans to cover the full range of FDA-approved birth control methods, without any out-of-pocket expense to consumers.

Churches are exempt from the requirement, and the ACA also allows some employers with religious objections to “opt-out” of paying for the portion of health insurance plans that cover contraception.

In the case of Zubik v. Burwell, employers challenged the ACA’s birth control policy in court, arguing that even this “opt-out” process violates their religious beliefs.

In May, the Supreme Court returned the case to the lower courts because it was unable to resolve the case.

Tester’s letter was signed by 39 other members of the Senate and is available HERE.