Information for insurers about ACCESS to birth control and emergency contraception

If you represent a health insurance plan, learn about the ACCESS law in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Birth control supply

  • ACCESS, a Massachusetts law, means eligible patients can be prescribed and receive 12 months of birth control at one time, with no deductible, copayment or coinsurance, after an initial three-months on the same prescription birth control.
    • The law covers a 12-month supply of the pill, patches, rings, or injectable birth control.
    • Most types of birth control are covered under this law at no cost to the patient, except male condoms and vasectomies (male sterilization). The 12-month supply does not apply to the types of contraception that last for extended periods of time, like IUDs or implantable rods.
  • To be eligible, patients must be on a health insurance plan that is subject to Massachusetts law and complete a three-month trial of the same prescription birth control if they have not been on it already.
    • Plans subject to Massachusetts law include fully insured health insurance plans, like MassHealth and those purchased on the MA Health Connector, as well as plans purchased through the MA Group Insurance Commission (GIC).
  • According to a market research survey conducted in January 2022, 86% of eligible people polled are interested in receiving a 12-month supply of birth control at one time, but only half were aware that this is an option for them. *
    • A 12-month supply means fewer gaps in patient care and contraceptive coverage.

Emergency contraception

  • According to the ACCESS law, eligible patients can receive emergency contraception over-the-counter or with a prescription at no cost to the patient. This includes levonorgestrel (e.g., Plan B One Step, Next Choice, My Way, etc.) and ulipristal acetate (ella).
  • According to a market research survey conducted in January 2022, 84% of eligible people who learned about getting emergency contraception at no cost were more likely to get it. *
  • Health insurance plans subject to MA law must cover emergency contraception without any cost-sharing when dispensed pursuant to a patient’s prescription or a pharmacist’s standing order.

Female sterilization

The ACCESS law requires health insurance plans subject to MA law to cover female sterilization (tubal ligation) at no cost to the patient.

More resources

  • Health insurance plans are required to comply with the specifics of ACCESS legislation. Insurers can learn more about ACCESS on the FAQ written by the MA Division of Insurance: Massachusetts ACCESS Law Common Questions and Answers (Q&A)
  • Some of your members may be contacting your customer service team to find out if they are covered under their specific health insurance plan. It could be helpful to be prepared to answer questions about whether their health insurance plans are subject to MA law and/or are fully insured.

*A market research survey was conducted in January 2022 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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