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Post date: August 19 2004

Westchester Municipalities To Include Contraceptives In Prescription Drug Coverage

New York State Attorney General today announced that 17 municipalities in Westchester County have agreed to extend their healthcare coverage to include prescription contraceptives following an investigation by his office.

The investigation resulted from a complaint the office received from a female employee of one of the municipalities. The investigation revealed that a large group of municipalities purchasing healthcare insurance jointly excluded the coverage of contraceptives, a needed only by women, while providing coverage for other prescriptions.

"Family planning care is basic healthcare for women. Excluding it from health insurance plans is a violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws," Spitzer stated.

The New York Women’s Health & Wellness Act, which became law in 2003, requires that third party insurance providers that provide prescription coverage include prescription contraceptive coverage in their plans. Entities that are self-insured are subject to federal and state anti-discrimination laws that also demand prescription contraceptive coverage be provided in an otherwise general prescription drug plan.

The following municipalities are covered by the agreement: Town of Cortlandt, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Bedford Hills, Somers, South Salem, Yorktown Heights, City of Rye, Rye Town, Rye Brook, Mt. Kisco, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Chappaqua, Village of Pelham Manor, Eastchester, and Port Chester.

The matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Lisa Landau Chief of the Reproductive Rights Unit under the Direction of Dennis Parker Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Civil Rights Bureau.