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State Senator

Mae Flexer

Representing Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson & Windham

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Flexer Leads Senate Passage of Bill to Protect Access to Health Care for Women

State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson) today led passage of bill aimed at protecting health benefits for women, children and adolescents.

Senate Bill 586, “An Act Expanding Mandated Health Benefits for Women, Children and Adolescents,” passed the Senate in a bipartisan, unanimous vote.

The bill comes at a time when national legislators have moved to slash health care coverage for millions of Americans, including 109,000 Connecticut residents enrolled under the ACA.

“This legislation will ensure that regardless of what happens in Washington, women’s health care will continue to be protected in our state,” said Sen. Flexer. “It is imperative that we put the health care of Connecticut residents first, and I am so pleased that this bill had strong, bipartisan support.”

Senate Bill 586 seeks to ensure that women’s health care will be protected under any circumstances with or without protections from the federal government. The bill expands mandated health benefits for women, children and adolescents; expands mandated contraception benefits; and requires the Commissioner of Social Services to amend the Medicaid state plan to provide expanded contraception benefits.

Thanks to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, nearly 800,000 Connecticut women have not been charged a copay or deductible for contraceptive coverage resulting in an average yearly savings of hundreds of dollars. SB 586 will ensure that regardless of what happens now to the Affordable Care Act in Washington, the protections essential health benefits it affords to all women will remain law in Connecticut.

This bill makes sure that health insurance coverage plans cover 21essential benefits that women need in order to receive comprehensive healthcare in our state, including:

  • Well-woman visits for any woman who is younger than 65 years old;
  • Breast cancer screenings
  • Screenings for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Breastfeeding support and counseling for any pregnant or breastfeeding woman;
  • Breastfeeding supplies, including a breast pump;
  • Gestational diabetes screening for any woman who is 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and any woman who is at increased risk for gestational diabetes; and
  • Osteoporosis screening for any woman who is 60-years-old or older.

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