State lawmakers introduced the Contraceptive Health Equity and Employee Rights (CHEER) Act this week to ensure Minnesota women have access to contraception coverage regardless of their employer. Senator Pappas and Representative Murphy joined advocates from Planned Parenthood and women’s rights groups to address the discriminatory policies that resulted from the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling.
Because of the Supreme Court’s ruling, women in Minnesota saw serious gaps in contraception coverage. This coverage has been put in jeopardy by allowing certain for-profit employers to discriminate against their female employees.
Without a legislative response, federal and state rulings mean women in Minnesota will have to pay more for medication to prevent pregnancy and treat serious conditions. With recent rulings in Minnesota, employers began limiting coverage and creating additional obstacles for women to access these health care treatments.
The CHEER Act would address these coverage gaps by requiring employer health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods and procedures if the plan provides prescription drug coverage to its employees. The proposal includes an exemption for non-profit religious employers.