It was a well-intentioned effort to provide men with some of thesame financial protection from birth control costs that women get. But a new Maryland law mayjeopardize the ability of thousands of consumers — both men andwomen — to use health savings accounts.

The law, which took effect Jan. 1, mandates that insurers covervasectomies without requiring patients to pay anythingout-of-pocket — just as they must do for more than a dozen birthcontrol methods for women.

But the measure may run afoul of Internal Revenue Service rulesthat do not include vasectomies among approved preventive servicesfor high-deductible health plans. People withhealth savings accounts — which are exempt from tax liabilities —tied to those plans could no longer contribute to the savingsaccounts in that case.

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