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On the Horizon

Except for a handful of states, most legislatures have ended their regular sessions, but that doesn’t mean that all work has come to a standstill until the next session. During the interim, legislators are beginning to think about bills that they want to introduce in 2018, and executive agencies are developing budgets and policy ideas. Now is the perfect time to start laying the groundwork. You can identify ideas that make sense for your state, and if you need inspiration see our updated state policy brief. If you already have an idea, this is a good time to build coalitions and enlist champions to support your legislative/administrative proposals.

Looking forward to the next legislative session, we plan to host a webinar in early September on state efforts to address unplanned pregnancy at the college level with the goal of helping states that are interested in pursuing similar legislation. Stay tuned for more information. 

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State Spotlight

New Jersey

At the end of June, the New Jersey legislature passed a bill to require insurance companies to provide coverage for 12-months of contraception at one time. If Governor Christie signs the bill, New Jersey will join the 12 other states and Washington, D.C. that currently require an extended supply of contraception. For more details on similar legislation that has been passed by those states, see our fact sheet.

Oregon

This month the Oregon legislature passed HB 3391, the "Reproductive Health Equity Act." Among a broad set of protections, Oregon’s new law requires private insurers to cover, without cost-sharing, the services referenced in the federal Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines (as of January 1, 2017). They must also cover all contraceptive methods available over the counter. It also appropriates state funds to provide coverage for these services and methods to women who are of reproductive age but are disqualified from Medicaid due to their immigration status. This NHeLP blog post provides a short summary of the bill. Governor Brown is expected to sign the bill into law.

Utah

Utah Representative Ray Ward has plans to create legislation directing the state to apply for a Medicaid Family Planning Waiver. (Utah is one of seven states that has neither expanded full Medicaid as the ACA allows, nor expanded Medicaid specifically for family planning services.) During the last legislative session, Representative Brian King introduced a similar bill, but there was no movement on it after its introduction

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Resources

  • We are excited to announce that, in July, The National Campaign launched a unique service, Select 360™. One of our new offerings is One Key Question® (OKQ), a groundbreaking and simple service to help encourage primary care providers and others to routinely ask women about their reproductive health needs. By asking women: “Would you like to become pregnant in the next year?” clinicians and others can more fully support women’s health needs, such as preventing an unintended pregnancy or preparing for a healthy pregnancy. For more information, click here.
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation June Health Tracking Poll finds more evidence to support our notion that everyone loves birth control. The June poll find that a majority of the public (68 percent) support the requirement for private health insurance plans to cover the full cost of birth control. This includes a majority of Democrats (81 percent) and independents (68 percent), as well as 54 percent of Republicans. For more details on the components of the poll related to women’s health, click here. 
  • Know others who would like to sign up for this newsletter? They can subscribe at this link; be sure to check the state policy checkbox.

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©2017, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
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ph: (202) 478-8500. fax: (202) 478-8588. CFC #10496
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