The Massachusetts House has approved new health insurance mandates covering contraceptives without requiring a co-pay, part of an effort by Beacon Hill lawmakers to safeguard sexual health coverage amid changes to federal policies.

Since the Trump Administration has taken aim at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers and reproductive rights advocates in Massachusetts have been trying to fill in those federal gaps at the state level. 

The House's bill, which now moves to the Senate, would require insurers cover all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives and related doctor's' visits without needing to pay.

The mandate is similar to a provision included in the ACA that's being rolled back by the White House.

After years of resistance, the powerful health insurance lobby is backing the bill, clearing a path through the backrooms of Beacon Hill.

"Given the recent actions by the Trump administration and others in Washington to rollback the progress made on contraceptive coverage and women's health care through the affordable care act it is imperative that we act now. Over 1.4 million women's contraceptive coverage is in jeopardy here in the Commonwealth,"

The state's health care analysis agency determined that the mandate would cost between $1.9 and $5.7 million dollars annually over the next five years - which could end up meaning an added 84 cents to $2 dollars and forty cents for premium payers.

The Catholic Action League opposes the bill, saying it forces employers to subsidize care that might be against their religious teachings. The bill does carve out an exemption for religious-affiliated employers like churches and Catholic institutions.