Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 2, 2013

W.Va. Senate mandates maternity coverage

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Any West Virginia insurance policy that covers maternity services would have to provide those benefits to everyone covered by the policy, not just the policy holder.

The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday making the change. The changes are part of the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act and will go into effect in July.

Earlier versions of the bill included both maternity coverage and contraceptive coverage. But the contraceptive requirement was dropped in committee.

The Affordable Care Act mandates that employer health insurance plans cover contraceptive services, with exceptions for certain non-profit religious organizations.

West Virginia's attorney general is one of 13 Republican attorneys general who have signed a letter requesting that all businesses be allowed to opt out of providing contraceptive services in their plans.

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