Manchin Inks West Virginia Contraceptive Coverage Bill

May 17, 2005 ( - West Virginia health insurers are now mandated to cover prescription contraceptive drugs or contraceptive devices approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration to the same extent as other prescriptions under a new law.

>Legislation signed into law by Governor Joe Manchin exempts, from the prescription contraceptive drug requirement, policies sold to religious employers, according to Business Insurance. The law defines such employers as those whose “sincerely held religious beliefs or sincerely held moral convictions are central” to its operations.

>Also not covered under the bill are self-funded employers. They are protected by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) from state laws or regulations that relate to employee benefit plans.

>The legislation goes into effect in early July.