ALBANY — New York will strengthen existing regulations to require health insurers to provide free coverage for contraception and “medically necessary” abortions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.
The move comes in response to potential cuts to reproductive-health coverage through the Affordable Care Act by the new Republican-led Congress and President Donald Trump.
On Friday following his inauguration, Trump signed an executive order to start to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, which the president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health said could lead to big bills for contraception coverage.
One day later – and on the same day as women’s marches across the country – Cuomo said he is directing the state’s Department of Financial Services to mandate the coverage by health insurers. The agency regulates the state’s insurers.
The regulations, the state said, will ensure “contraceptive drugs and devices are covered by commercial health insurance policies without co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles regardless of the future of the Affordable Care Act.”
State Conservative Party chairman Mike Long criticized Cuomo’s decision, saying the state shouldn’t mandate coverage on insurers.
Women’s rights groups praised the announcement, which came on the eve of the 44th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade court decision.