CHICAGO, Ill (WGEM) -- Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed HB 0135 into law Thursday, granting Illinoisans access to birth control over the counter.
According to state officials, the legislation removes barriers to care that may have previously prevented residents from accessing hormonal contraception, including lack of access to a physician willing to prescribe birth control.
“This legislation that I’m signing into law today makes Illinois one of the first states in the Midwest to provide birth control over the counter, making contraceptives all the more accessible and affordable in our state," Gov. Pritzker said.
State officials stated HB 0135 also expands Medicaid to cover over-the-counter birth control costs for plans that currently cover physician-prescribed birth control. And to ensure the price of contraception remains feasible, HB 0135 includes mandates for insurance policies regulated by the State to cover birth control that is dispensed by a pharmacist.
“Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers that receive the most extensive training in proper use of medications; it makes sense to fully utilize pharmacists to expand access to ensure women are empowered in having access to effective, preventative options for contraception,” Garth Reynolds, Executive Director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association, said.
Illinois is now the eighth state to offer access to birth control over the counter. The other states are California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.
According to state officials, HB 0135 is effective January 1, 2022.