Insurers must refund for contraception services

Health insurance carriers Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP Health Care, Cigna Healthcare will refund checks will be distributed to all policy holders charged a member cost-share for contraceptive services guaranteed by state law as no cost-share, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) announced recently.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance plans must provide coverage at no cost to consumers for contraceptive services and supplies, including the full range of birth control, counseling, treatment of complications, and any other related services. Birth control can include options such as an intrauterine device (IUD) insertion and removal, prescribed emergency contraception, birth control pills, and sterilization procedures such as tubal ligation.

DFR found no intent on behalf of any carrier to violate the mandate. All insurers were cooperative, responsive to requests and agreeable to working toward solutions with the team. Major categories of claims processed:
– Sterilizations for women.
– Pregnancy tests related to contraceptive services.
– Contraceptive office visits.
– Ultrasounds associated with contraceptive services, including IUDs.
– Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) tests: physicians routinely test for STIs before performing contraceptive services or providing contraceptive prescriptions.
– Sterilizations for men (Vermont-specific mandate).

Burlington seeks Air Guard base lease extension – Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger announced October 12 he will seek City Council approval for a 25-year lease extension with the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) at the Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport (Leahy BTV). VTANG and the City will also jointly commit to reducing and mitigating the effect of aircraft noise and emissions from aircraft and base operations.

VTANG’s current lease expires in 2048. However, Department of Defense regulations dictate military installations must have more than 25 years remaining on their lease to allocate Military Construction (MILCON) funding. Without an extension, VTANG will be unable to move forward with $51 million in planned and federally funded capital investments at the airport in the next five years. These capital investments include $7.7 million in renewable energy and clean heating projects and $32 million for the construction of new Net Zero buildings.

State creates animal feed online marketplace – severe and soggy weather this summer has created feed issues for those raising livestock. With a pressing need to find feed for farmers and producers, state ag and IT officials have created a resource for those looking to buy and/or sell feed. This online marketplace is available now.

“The constant rain this summer has created a feed shortage for many farmers. This new, free directory is an easy way for those looking for feed to connect with those with feed for sale,” said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture.

Categories: SHORTS