Not including contraceptives in drug plan is discrimination against women, judge rules

U.S. case may open the doors for women seeking coverage for contraceptives
||Last Updated: 04/08/2003

Excluding prescription contraceptives from the employee health plan discriminated against women, a U.S. federal judge has ruled.

The plan, offered by a family-owned drug store chain in Seattle, violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, paying for the basic health-care needs of male employees, but leaving female employees to pay for contraception.

The law is no longer blind to the fact that only women can get pregnant or use prescription contraception, said Judge Robert S. Lasnick. He called the lack of coverage for prescription contraceptives a “gaping hole” in the plan.