For Immediate Release
February 10, 2012

Washington, DC – The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) welcomed today’s announcement by President Obama that he is committed to ensuring that all women have access to preventive health care, including contraception.

Under today’s announcement, most employers will be required to provide insurance coverage for preventive health services, at no cost, including all FDA-approved contraceptives. While religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage, women employed by religiously-affiliated nonprofit organizations will be offered no-cost contraception coverage directly from insurers. These requirements implement the preventive health services provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

“We thank President Obama for holding firm on his promise to ensure that all women have access to contraception and other preventive health services and supplies, without expensive cost-sharing,” said Kathy Lim Ko, APIAHF president and CEO. “Today’s announcement underlies the importance of these services in promoting the heath of all women. We look forward to working with the Administration to ensure these provisions are fully implemented.”

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women experience a number of health and health care related disparities. Cost is often a barrier to accessing preventive health care, resulting in delayed or inconsistent care. For example, Asian American women have lower utilization rates for contraceptives – in part due to cost. Expanding insurance coverage for contraceptives and other women’s preventive health services – and removing the cost barrier – will go a long way to addressing some of these disparities.

A copy of the White House announcement can be found here.

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.