In light of the Affordable Care Act, the WLA sought to understand how the Affordable Care Act’s August 1 provisions regarding women’s health will affect Harvard students.
The following is HUSHP’s explanation, for those who share this curiosity:
Most aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) relating to women’s health have long been covered in full under the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP), including well-woman visits, HPV testing, and counseling for sexually transmitted infections. With respect to contraceptive products, the HUSHP benefit design was reviewed and modified effective 8/1/2012. The following changes were made: Tier 1 products, which include most generic contraceptives, will no longer require any out-of-pocket cost to members. Products on Tiers 2 & 3 will now be subject to 50% coinsurance. This means that the health plan and the member will each pay 50% of the cost of the product. Based on HUSHP utilization from this past year, this change means that over 75% of women enrollees using contraceptive products will no longer have any out-of-pocket cost. Students using Tier 2 or Tier 3 products also have the option of converting to Tier 1 products; this is a discussion they should have with their prescribing physician.
These changes were adopted to provide students with access to multiple contraceptive options at no cost to the patient, as indicated by the ACA, despite the fact that the ACA does not apply to self insured student plans like HUSHP.
As a reminder, emergency contraception (Plan B) is available to students free of charge at the Harvard Pharmacy in the Holyoke Center.