As part of a comprehensive women’s health policy, the federal government will begin requiring insurance companies to cover birth control with no copay. Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Michelle Tripiano says this makes a huge difference in women’s health, because not only does it help curb unplanned pregnancies, but it helps women space out the pregnancies they do want, which is much healthier.
In Missouri, there’s a law that says birth control has to be covered by insurance companies if they cover other prescriptions. But women still have to pay the balance. It’s called contraceptive equity, but there’s still a copay and it doesn’t cover other types of birth control.
Tripiano says this is important because other types of birth control don’t have as high of a failure rate as the pill does. Half of all pregnancies are unintentional, and many are attributed to women forgetting to take the pill. Tripiano says not only will this policy save insurance companies money in the long run on pregnancies, but it’s much healthier for women to space out their pregnancies, and this helps them do that.
The new policy also covers other types of birth control like shots and implants. The plan covers “well woman” physicals, some screenings for pregnant women and counseling for domestic violence victims, among other things. It takes full effect in 2013. Religious institutions are exempt from the requirement to provide birth control, but other parts of the policy, such as screening for cervical cancer and for diabetes during pregnancy would still be requisite.