The Affordable Care Act Helped Millions Of Americans Access The Most Effective Birth Control
Long-acting reversible contraceptives, also known as LARCs, are among the biggest public health success stories of the past 20 years. These methods, like IUDs and contraceptive implants inserted under the skin, work for years without the need for the user to remember a daily pill. That ease has been a boon to women, many of whom have shouldered the burden of preventing pregnancy in their relationships.
But unlike more permanent methods of birth control like tubal ligation, LARCs can be quickly removed if a patient wants to get pregnant. And they are highly effective, with failure rates of less than 1 percent, compared with about 7 percent for typical use of birth control pills.
IUDs had something of a bad name for decades because an early version, the Dalkon Shield, led to serious side effects, including infertility and even death. Even after safer versions became available, doctors were reluctant for many years to prescribe them for younger patients. The more traditional view among doctors was that IUDs were for after youve had your children, Alina Salganicoff, senior vice president and director of womens health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Vox. Starting in 2007, however, LARCs began to become more popular, perhaps due to the advent of new products like the Mirena, an IUD with an added, non-pregnancy-related bonus it can reduce menstrual bleeding.
Then Trump was elected.
Americans Support Including Birth Control Under Health Insurance Plans As Preventive Health Care
Birth control use is nearly universal. Ninety-nine percent of all sexually experienced women and 98% of sexually experienced Catholic women have used it at some point in their lives.
Since theAffordable Care Act was passed in 2010, most health insurance companies have been required to cover birth control at no copay in their plans. The birth control mandate finally made this essential health care service affordable. But the ACA and its birth control coverage mandate have been under attack by anti-birth control politicians.
- Fifty-six percent of voters support the ACA birth control coverage benefit, including 53% of Catholic voters and 62% of Catholics who identify themselves as independents, according to a Public Policy Polling Poll.
- Sixty-five percent of Millennials believe that employer health insurance coverage should include birth control at no cost.
Does Health Insurance Cover Abortion
The ACA does not require health insurance plans to cover abortion services, like in-clinic abortion and the abortion pill. But some plans do cover abortion. The best way to find out if you have coverage for abortion services is to contact your health insurance provider.
Abortion coverage varies depending on a lot of factors, like the laws where you live, what type of insurance you have, and the reason you need an abortion. Many private health insurance plans cover abortion, but some choose not to or arent allowed to in certain states. Some states ban all health insurance plans from covering abortion, while other states require all plans to cover abortion or dont place limits on abortion coverage. Some states ban certain types of insurance from covering abortion, like ACA marketplace plans and/or Medicaid. Some plans will only cover an abortion under special circumstances, like if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or it puts your life at risk.
Planned Parenthood opposes laws and policies that restrict coverage for abortion. Abortion is safe and legal in the U.S., and we believe everyone deserves access to the health care they need.
If you need an abortion and youre worried about cost, contact your local Planned Parenthood to see if they can help you get care. You can use our Abortion Clinic Finder to find your closest abortion provider. The National Network of Abortion Funds may also be able to help you cover the cost of your abortion.
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Does Medicaid Cover Birth Control Or Contraceptives
First, the short answer. Or the good news, if thats how youd prefer to put it. Regardless, Medicaid covers various aspects of family planning–from counseling, to screening services, to contraceptives.
Now, the longer answer. Or the bad news, if you will. Due to the complicated way in which Medicaid is set up and administered, its hard to say which forms of birth control your states program will or wont cover.
There are a number of reasons for that, including:
- Although the federal law says family planning services are mandatory Medicaid benefits , the law doesnt define family planning. Because of that, states basically decide for themselves which birth control methods and services they cover and which ones they dont.
- Also, though the ACA requires Medicaid to cover contraceptives in a way thats similar to how marketplace health insurance plans cover them, that requirement doesnt apply to traditional Medicaid that was available before the ACA was signed into law.
- Finally, states can set different coverage requirements for Medicaid-funded family planning services for different eligibility pathways.
Given all of the above, the only way to find out which forms of birth control your states Medicaid program does and doesnt pay for is to contact your local agency and ask about it.
You Have Rights As A Patient
When it comes to accessing birth control, you gotta know your rights! Planned Parenthood is here to help everyone get the birth control they need no matter where youre from or what your citizenship status is. The following guidance aims to support patients and their families in being aware of their rights as immigrants.
What To Do When Your Insurance Won’t Cover Your Birth Control
I thought health insurance had to cover birth control, but my plan doesn’t pay for the pill I’m on. Is that legal?
I thought health insurance had to cover birth control, but my plan doesn’t pay for the pill I’m on. Is that legal?
Your plan might be grandfathered, though, meaning it existed before the law passed, so the new rules don’t apply.
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There’s a catch, however: Even for new plans, insurers are required to pay for at least one type of each method, but they don’t have to cover every product in all categories. They might completely cover a generic version of your pill but require a co-pay for the brand-name one, for example.
Still, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck. Plans will pay for a specific product if there’s a medical reason you need it. Your doc can help you request a waiver explaining why the pill you want is the best choice.
The Trump Administration Set About Dismantling The Aca And Federal Family Planning Infrastructure
Donald Trump had campaigned on getting rid of the ACA, one of President Barack Obamas signature achievements. He also brought into his administration many social conservatives who opposed both abortion and some methods of contraception. Katy Talento, for example, one of his top health care advisers, has falsely claimed that birth control pills cause miscarriage and can ruin your uterus.
And in his first year in office, Trump took on both the health care law and birth control access, issuing new rules that created broad exemptions to the contraceptive mandate. Under the rules, announced in October 2017, employers could refuse to provide copay-free birth control coverage if they had a religious or moral objection to doing so.
Religious employers and their advocates praised the decision. In requiring religious employers to cover birth control, the Obama administration was giving them a really tough choice, Maria Montserrat Alvarado, executive director of Becket, a law firm that represented the Catholic order Little Sisters of the Poor in suits challenging the mandate, told Vox. For the Little Sisters, being complicit in what they consider to be a moral wrong actually makes a big difference to them, because its about consistency in their religious witness.
In the years that followed, the Trump administration would take several other actions that limited Americans contraceptive access.
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You Have An Iud Or Implant
Implants last 4 years and IUDs last 3 12 years so youre probably protected for a little while longer.
If you do have to get your contraceptive device removed soon, the procedure itself can cost up to $300. Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center as they may charge you less, with or without insurance.
After removal, you can look at other birth control options to continue preventing pregnancy, and save with GoodRx.
Prices shown are average GoodRx discounted prices as of Nov 2, 2017. Local results may vary.
Does Anthem Cover Dental
Your Anthem dental plan ensures that you have access to dentists in your area or anywhere else in the country. You also receive a discount when using one of our network partners.
Your Anthem Dental Care Plan gives you full control over where and how often you get work done on your teethas long as its with an authorized dentist.
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Other Hormonal Birth Control Methods
Other hormonal methods of birth control include:
- Oral contraception: There are a few different types of oral birth control pills available, including a combination pill, which uses a combination of estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy, and a progestin-only pill. A person must take it around the same time every day to prevent pregnancy. These pills are approximately
If A Health Insurance Plan Covers One Of Type Of Birth Control Does It Usually Cover All Of Them Or Many Of Them
It depends. If you buy a health insurance plan from the ACA marketplace, it is required by law to cover a wide range of birth control methods and services. The same is true if you buy a health insurance plan directly from an insurance company.
Most U.S. companies and organizations offer their employees health coverage that pays for at least some contraceptives, but there are many exceptions. Also, how one employers plans cover birth control is sure to differ from how another employers plans cover it just because thats how these things work.
All that said, its probably safe to say that if a health insurance plan covers at least one form of birth control, itll likely cover others as well. How many others, though, will depend on the company providing that coverage.
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Alternative Birth Options And Health Insurance Coverage
Although most women in the U.S. deliver babies in a hospital, thats far from their only option these days. They dont have to rely on doctors or obstetricians either. Doulas and midwives are increasingly common, as are birthing centers as well as home and water births. Heres how health plans tend to treat them.
In the early 1900s, nearly all American women gave birth outside a hospital. By the 1940s, less than 50 percent of them delivered their babies at home. And by the late 1960s, just 1 percent did so.
Thats pretty much where things stand today. Almost all babies in the U.S. are now delivered in a hospitalin stark contrast to what was commonplace a century or so ago.
No one is likely to argue the tide is racing back toward out-of-hospital births, but it does seem to be leaning in that directionif only slightly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the percentage of out-of-hospital deliveries increased from 1.26 percent of all U.S. births in 2011 to 1.36 percent in 2012.
Most of these alternative deliveries occur at home, although a good number take place in freestanding birthing centers.
Having babies at home or in dedicated centers isnt the only alternative birth option American women are embracing these days. Theyre also increasingly utilizing doulas, midwives, and night nurses to help them through their pregnancies and deliveries.
Keep reading for answers to all of these questions and a few more.
So How Does The Birth Control Mandate Affect You
Every year in the United States, 600 to 700 women die because of complications associated with pregnancy. Reducing unintended pregnancy is an important element of addressing the unacceptably high maternal mortality rate in the United States. By providing free or low cost options, the federal government is allowing American women to decide when and how they become pregnant. Thus granting them full autonomy over their own bodies, not to mention their lives.
The financial benefits of free birth control for women are obvious as well. In 2013, just a year after the mandate took effect, women saved nearly $500 million on out-of-pocket-costs for birth control. Thanks to the mandate, many women no longer have to choose between paying for birth control and paying for other necessities, like groceries and utilities.
Access to birth control also provides health benefits for women and children. And improves womens ability to control whether and when they have children. The ability to plan pregnancies allows women the time and finances to invest in their own education and careers and participate more fully in the workforce. This benefits not only themselves and their families but also the society as a whole.
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How Do I Know If My Health Insurance Plan Covers Birth Control Or How Can I Tell Which Forms Of Birth Control My Health Plan Covers Or Doesnt Cover
The quickest and easiest way to tell if your health insurance covers a certain kind of contraceptive or birth control is to look at your policy.
Admittedly, thats often easier said than done. After all, insurance plans arent known for being understandable or accessible.
Thankfully, you dont have to stop there. If your policy doesnt make it clear which types of birth control it covers or doesnt cover, contact the insurance company. A quick email exchange or phone conversation should be enough to bring you up to speed in this area.
Another option: if you get health insurance through your employer, ask your human resources manager to provide some clarity here.
And if Medicaid provides your health coverage, talk with someone at your local agency.
Basically, the best thing you can do in this kind of situation is to not be shy about asking for help if you cant figure out whether or not your health insurance plan covers birth control or which forms of birth control it covers.
The Affordable Care Act
Under the Affordable Care Act , insurance companies are required to cover all prescription birth control options for women. You can get this prescription birth control without having to pay a copay at the pharmacyeven if you haven’t yet reached your deductible.
These federal guidelines apply to almost all types of insurance. This includes:
- Private insurance plans
- Private plans purchased on the Health Insurance Marketplace
There are a few exceptions, however. According to the ACA and subsequent legal actions from the courts and state legislatures, certain religious entities are exempt from the federal birth control guidelines. Under the Trump administration, this was expanded to entities with a “moral” objection to contraception.
This means that some employers may not be required to provide their employees with an insurance plan that covers birth control. Employers that seek these exemptions are predominantly religiously-affiliated organizations, such as:
- Schools and universities
- Fertility awareness counseling
- Emergency contraception
Since there are so many brands of birth control pills, your health insurance company may only cover some of them. If your contraceptive has a generic version, your insurance plan can choose to only offer the generic alternative for free.
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Q: Will My Health Plan Pay For A Midwife
A: Some good news for a change: your health insurance is more likely to pay for, or help you pay for, a midwife than it is to pay for a doula or night nurse. That said, there are plenty of insurers and plans that dont cover midwives, especially if theyre attending a home birth. Your best bet to get your health plan to pay for some or all of your midwife bill is to deliver your baby in a birthing center or hospital.
Services Covered By Msp
MSP is the provincial insurance program that pays for required medical services. These include medically necessary services provided by physicians and midwives, dental and oral surgery performed in a hospital, eye examinations if medically required and some orthodontic services. In addition, MSP pay for diagnostic services including x-rays. For information on laboratory service benefits under the Laboratory Services Act, visit the Laboratory Services website.
Other services that may be covered by MSP include supplementary benefits provided by other health care practitioners. These include acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, physical therapy and non-surgical podiatry.
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The Supreme Court Decision Predominantly Affects Bipoc Poor Rural Women
In rural areas, there are typically fewer businesses to choose from as employers for the residents who live there. Teleworking or remote jobs may be difficult to find. The pandemic has contributed to historic job losses and furloughs. In this kind of economic landscape, limitations on birth control access affect impoverished people and women in the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color populations more directly.
The result of this ruling will be to deny women access to basic reproductive healthcare, and the burden will once again fall most heavily on women of color, women living in rural areas and women with limited means, says Sealy. This decision also represents one more barrier for Black women whose health is already disproportionately impacted by systemic inequities that further limit their access to critical reproductive healthcare services.
Similarly, the decision will only make life harder for the very people who are keeping our economy afloat during this pandemic and fighting in the streets for the right to control their bodies and lives, said McGill Johnson.