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Women's Health Care Advocates Want New Health Care Bill to Include Contraception

Should the New Health Care Plan Cover Birth Control?

Fresh on the heels of DrSugar discussing birth control and pregnancy, I wanted to let you all know there is a movement afoot to have the new health care plan include coverage for free birth control. According to MSNBC, the average woman spends "roughly five years trying to get pregnant or being pregnant." Which is considerably shorter than the time she spends trying not to get pregnant: 30 years. The amount of money spent on contraception over that 30 years can run very, very high.

Recently the White House issued new rules requiring health insurance companies to provide access to routine preventative care at no cost to members. Now women's health advocate groups and even some employer groups believe contraception should be added to the list of preventative care. Using birth control correctly prevents unwanted pregnancies, and planned pregnancies have been shown to be healthier for both the mom and baby.

However, not everyone is on board with this idea. Deirdre McQuade, the spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated, "Fertility is not a disease to be cured, and the government should not treat it as that."

The money side of the proposal has been researched by the National Business Group on Health, who commissioned Price Waterhouse Coopers to study the estimated cost to health plans of providing preventive family planning services. The study determined that the cost is about $40 per member annually, with a typical family policy costing around $13,000 per year.

As a woman who has shelled out a lot of cash over the years for contraception I think this would be beneficial to so many women for so many reasons. What about you?

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Join The Conversation
Skeptic52 Skeptic52 7 years
You know, that IS true. Men can get Viagra free really easily! I have a relative that gets "samples" from doctors constantly. He's got a stockpile. They don't hand out free birth control for women that I know of. That's a good point!
Skeptic52 Skeptic52 7 years
I personally HATE hormonal birth controls for the side effects I experience, but I definitely think it should be covered. It would cost all the participants in the plan less if more unwanted pregnancies were prevented. Also, I remember my brother's girlfriend a couple years ago wanted to go on the pill and even had insurance. The brand that worked best for her cost her $60 a month. That's stupid. I just use condoms. Anyone that wants to make those free can is awesome to me!
Diamonds720 Diamonds720 7 years
If we are not going to cover contraception and plan B, I believe we shouldn't subsidize weight loss drugs, and most importantly ED drugs. I think that it is ridiculous to say that ED is a disease and provide Viagara to men,when it is clearly not a life threatening disease. Weight loss drugs and surgery shouldn't be covered either under this logic, as it is a person's choice to not lead a healthy life stye, and although life threatening, diet and exercise has been proven to work. It is sad that women's rights are still coming under fire.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I was reading through the details of my health insurance plan the other day and noticed that birth control items like diaphragms and IUDs are completely covered as medical devices, while birth control pills and patches are subject to the ridiculously complex multi-tiered prescription plan. I guess fewer women use birth control devices. @Anon/#10, careful study of my prescription plan revealed that while I would have to pay almost full retail price for Seasonique, there is a generic available for Seasonale called quasense, which I can get for much less. I pay $15 for a 90-day supply through my insurance company's mail order pharmacy and skip the last week of pills at the end of the third month.
RunningNina RunningNina 7 years
The government is giving away free cell phones now. Viagra is covered by insurance. Health centers have huge bowls of free condoms for people to take. I think we could include the pill too. I agree that I shouldn't be paying for someone else's birth control [i don't pay for my own, my boyfriend and i are all over those free condoms], but in cases where birth control is used for anemia, PCOS, etc i think it can absolutely be provided for free or at a very low cost.
redchick152 redchick152 7 years
while i would absolutely love not having to pay for my birth control, i don't want to pay for someone else's. it's just not my responsibility. i feel that birth control (like abortion or adoption or just using condoms) is a personal choice and as women we need to be responsible for ourselves and do what is best for our bodies. with that said, if the reason women are on birth control is for an actual medical issues, that is a different story entirely. i get my Rx thru Medco and i pay $50 for 3 months, so roughly $17 per month. for me, that is much more manageable than a child!
gingirl gingirl 7 years
Yes, dantea, thank you. I was on an insurance policy that really didn't have a great deduction on my birth control, but Viagra was easier to get. Really? It's cheaper for me to go to Planned Parenthood
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Ditto what Chloe said, I also voted Undecided.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Put it this way--subsidized birth control would save the healthcare system a ton of money. There are WAY too many people who get pregnant unintentionally and then the system ends up paying a ton of money in prenatal care/delivery costs/etc. Subsidizing birth control isn't going to hurt anyone who intentionally doesn't use it and actually wants children, but it could save a lot of women a lot of headaches. I'm childfree and have to shell out a copay for my birth control, but I feel like I'm actually saving money because if I had a kid, I'd be spending ten times more money on the kid.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
"Fertility is not a disease to be cured, and the government should not treat it as that." Some women, like myself, see it another way. Specifically, pregnancy is medical condition that is UNWANTED. So yes, in my vein of thinking, medical insurance should cover ELECTIVE birth control for women like myself. For women who subscribe to McQuade's belief, they could choose not to use birth control. JMHO.
supercharger5150 supercharger5150 7 years
Personally my insurance company only allows me to get prescriptions form them and they only dispense generics. So, since Yasmine works best with my body and there is no generic form, I have to go to Planned Parenthood and pay $40/month, $480/year IF the price doesn't go up. I think for the moment, before other people pay for my pills, I'd like the option to get my covered by my insurance, regardless of brand. I'd like to thank 'Jereldan' for her comment, made me think of my YES in a different way.
hislizzy hislizzy 7 years
I agree with Jereldan. Personal responsibility should be encouraged whenever possible. Hormonal birth control is also a controversial health issue -- something I am surprised this article did not mention. Women who use it are more like to develop breast cancer, have a stroke or heart problems, and suffer from infertility once they come off it. There's no free lunch, ladies. Consider also: the more women use hormonal birth control, the more related health problems are likely to develop, which puts more strain on the system and ultimately on everyone's pocket. I live in Italy where they have socialized medicine, and I can tell you that it is no picnic paying the taxes we do here. I will be responsible for myself, thank you very much. But I don't want to pay for other women's fertility decisions.
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 7 years
i'm undecided. like chloe bella said, the cost would most likely be passed along in some other way. plus, to me it seems like it could be argued that all forms of contraception and/or std protection should then be covered as well in the name of "prevention."
dantea dantea 7 years
Dear GOD yes. If insurance covers frivolous crap like Viagra, it should cover birth control. For people with low income, it is nearly inaccessible.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
Hm... it would seem to make financial sense for the insurance companies to cover this, no? Contraception would be much less expensive than the coverage needs of a pregnant woman. All that said, with the pill as cheap as $5 a month for some prescriptions I don't understand why this is a problem.
le-romantique le-romantique 7 years
I believe so, mainly for the fact that I have been on it since I was 16 due to endometriosis, and not for the purpose of preventing pregnancy. I'm actually a virgin.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I put "undecided." The money to cover it has to come from somewhere, meaning that the choice would be to either pay a deductible out of pocket or pay for it in the form of higher premiums and/or cut backs to other covered services. Right now, I pay a $12 deductible, and I'm fine with that.
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