CVS cuts checks after charging women birth control co-pay

One of the largest U.S. pharmacy chains is reimbursing women it illegally charged co-pays for birth control, a practice that is no longer legal under ObamaCare.

CVS Health will send checks to approximately 11,000 women between now and Tuesday. The error, described as a coding glitch, levied co-pays on women enrolled in one health plan that works with CVS, a spokeswoman said.

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The reimbursements are a victory for Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who is collecting complaints from women charged illegal co-pays for contraception and using them to pressure pharmacy executives.

"I am encouraged that CVS is identifying these who have been impacted by this error," Speier said this week in a statement.

"CVS must make sure its pharmacists know the core tenets of the Affordable Care Act to provide effective and legal customer service."

Speier is also pressuring Walgreens and Target to rectify complaints customer service received about co-pays charged by their pharmacies.

Free contraception is guaranteed under most health plans because of the Affordable Care Act. The rules have drawn the Obama administration into a protracted legal and political battle with religious groups.

CVS Health spokeswoman Christine K. Cramer said the company had already identified the glitch prior to Speier's campaign.

"We worked to resolve the issue as quickly as possible," Cramer wrote in an email.

"We are committed to assuring that our customers receive the pharmacy benefits that are available to them and apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused."