For anyone who has spent time in a hospital or had to help an ailing friend or relative maneuver what their insurance does and doesn’t cover, you know getting things paid for is an olympic event. Some things will actually never get paid for because they surprisingly weren’t ever even covered to begin with. We’re not talking about ‘oh I've never heard of that,' road less travelled, specialist of specialist doctors, we’re talking about REGULAR shit. (Of course when it’s related to women they make the ordinary procedure/prescription/visit a marathon of hassles.)

When choosing your provider (and that includes Medicaid provider) it might be surprising to know that Fidelis Insurance is the New York State Catholic Health Plan. As such, Fidelis does not cover a range of reproductive health services because of a Catholic conflict of interest.

The Affordable Care Act (while we still have it) has required that all health insurance companies cover birth control regardless of religious affiliation BUT that doesn’t mean they're going to make it easy. They can send you to a third party group to get it covered so you and your pharmacist have to figure it out while your eyes bleed trying to sort through the nonsense.

When looking at insurance coverage, search for words like “some”, as in “so and so covers SOME reproductive health services.” Things that probably won’t be covered in “some”: birth control (you will have to go to a third party), a doctor visit where said doctor advises you about birth control options, abortion care or “voluntary termination of pregnancy”, using Planned Parenthood as your medical provider or possibly any clinic that has “family planning” in the title regardless of what you have done. Good luck figuring it out.

The current trend in our country is to have the religious choices of companies (who are of course now people) weigh more and more heavily in all facets of your vagina. (Ironic for people who always claim original constitution rights but seem to forget that our country was founded on the separation of church and state.) It is likely that this kind of non-health based, hypocritical (get that Viagra) coverage will be more and more prevalent.

Fidelis is New York State’s largest plan provider for Medicaid, the Essential Plan (for folks who don’t qualify for medicaid but are low income) AND for NY’s Individual Qualified Health Plans (totaling 1.54 million members). It’s bullshit that a company THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT HEALTH does not cover a wide range of women’s and trans persons health services and then still receives state subsidies.

Fidelis and other similar companies have slipped by on the down low. NO MAS. In times like these it is imperative to BE VIGILANT. Don’t get sneak attacked by insurance companies who want our money but don’t care about our health!