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Matt Singer on March 29, 2006 - 11:26am
The Montana Attorney General, following court decisions in Montana and similar opinions from across the country, issued an opinion yesterday mandating contraception coverage. The opinion was issued after being requested by a Montana lawmaker last year. The victory is obviously a significant one for Montana women, but the response of BlueCross BlueShield, Montana's largest insurer is an interesting one:
"The primary reaction is, while there are a lot of services that are very good for Montanans, what is covered in an insurance policy should be the choice of the individual paying for the policy," said Tanya Ask, Blue Cross vice president of government affairs. "Anytime you are mandating coverage, you are overall increasing the cost of the coverage." Blue Cross argues employers should be able to choose whether to include, and pay for, optional contraceptive coverage in the policies they offer employees.In other words, your insurance company wants you to have no say over your policy. In the United States, a fluke of history and insurance companies have colluded to take health care choice away from citizens and put it in the hands of their employers. Ironically, efforts to change this system typically get attacked for interfering with the health care market. The truth of the matter is that the health care "market" is in trouble from day one, because it is already structured so that companies have no incentive to pay attention to the needs of their consumers.