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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Bill requiring private insurance to cover 12 months of birth control advances

Closeup of a package of birth control pills.

A bill that would require private insurance companies to cover a 12-month supply of prescription birth control has advanced in the Montana Legislature.

Rep. Alice Buckley, a Democrat from Bozeman, is carrying House Bill 302 that would in some cases quadruple the maximum number of months of birth control supply a patient could pick up at one time – whether that be a pill, patch or ring.

“It’s really important if you’re thinking about giving women adequate coverage and ensuring there are no gaps in supply,” Buckley said.

Buckley said the bill would especially help rural residents who may live hours from the nearest pharmacy. Both Democrats and Republicans signed on to sponsor the bill.

The Montana House of Representatives advanced the bill on a 75-25 vote. A similar proposal failed to pass out of committee during the 2019 legislative session.

The bill passed with an amendment that would require insurance companies to allow patients to renew birth control prescriptions earlier.

Shaylee began covering state government and politics for Montana Public Radio in August 2020. Originally from Belgrade, Montana, she graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program and previously worked as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and UM’s Legislative News Service. Please share tips, questions and concerns by emailing 
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