TO: ALL INSURERS TRANSACTING HEALTH INSURANCE IN
ALASKA AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES
RE: COVERAGE OF PRESCRIPTION CONTRACEPTIVES
On December 14, 2000 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) issued a decision on coverage of prescription contraceptives.
The EEOC concluded that, pursuant to the Pregnancy Discrimination
Act, employers may not discriminate in their health insurance
plan by denying benefits for prescription contraceptives when
they provide benefits for other prescription drugs and devices.
On June 12, 2001, U.S. District Court Judge Robert S. Lasnik,
issued a summary judgement in Erickson v. Bartell Drug Company,
141 F. Supp.2d 1266 (W.D. Wa. 2001) in favor of Erickson finding
that exclusion of prescription contraceptives from Bartellís comprehensive
prescription drug plan constituted discrimination on the basis
of sex in violation of Title VII, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Based on the EEOC decision and U.S. District Court ruling, in
order for employers to avoid violation of Title VII, insurance
coverage offered to employees should provide coverage for prescription
contraceptives to the same extent that the plan provides coverage
for other prescription drugs or devices. The division requests
your assistance in spreading the word to employers with whom you
do business, thereby assuring that they remain in compliance with
Title VII by providing comparable coverage for prescription contraceptives
when they cover other prescription drugs and devices.
Dated this 16th day of April 2002, at Anchorage, Alaska.