Democrat to insurers: Do your part on ObamaCare rule

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is calling on health insurance companies to follow the requirements for contraceptive coverage under ObamaCare. 

Murray wrote to eight insurance companies offering coverage on the ObamaCare marketplace in her home state of Washington on Tuesday raising concerns about the results of a report from Northwest Health Law Advocates and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. 

Under ObamaCare, contraception is required to be free for subscribers. But that report found that customer service representatives for insurance companies often gave customers incorrect information about the cost of contraceptives.

“A lack of consumer awareness and transparency about what is covered for women is unacceptable,” Murray wrote in the letter. “A benefit that’s hidden from consumers is the same as having no benefit at all. Insurers must do their part to provide accurate information to all Washingtonians.”

The Washington state insurance commissioner announced earlier this month, in response to the report, that the insurance companies had agreed to revamp the information they provide to customers. Murray wrote that she will be monitoring their progress. 

The issue is not just in Washington state, and includes actual coverage in addition to information about that coverage, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report this month. 

That report found that some insurance plans were violating ObamaCare by requiring cost-sharing on some forms of contraception, or simply not covering some forms at all. 

Murray called that report “very concerning” at a hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell last week. 

Burwell said that “we do plan to follow up.”

But she said the department is still gathering information. “It is a matter of the specifics being brought to us,” she said. 

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