Report: Birth Control Should Be Free Under Health Plans
Birth control, including contraceptives, sterilization and reproductive education, should be offered for no additional cost by health insurance plans under health care reform law, says a new report.
CNN writes a report from the Institute of Medicine recommends that birth control methods services and education should be available “so that women can better avoid unwanted pregnancies and space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes.”
The Institute of Medicine is an independent, nonprofit organization that gives advice to decision makers and the public.
The report includes annual HIV tests, breastfeeding support and a well-woman care visit under its list of recommendations that should be fully covered as preventative services.
Birth control, like hormone pills and implantable devices, are partially covered under most health insurance plans, but they do require patients to contribute financially.
Women will no longer have to worry about co-pays, deductibles, or other fees for approved birth control or sterilization methods, should the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services accept the Institute of Medicine's recommendations.
Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary, told CNN, “We are reviewing the report closely and will release the Department's recommendations of what additional preventive services for women should be covered without cost sharing very soon.”
Sebelius also said the study's recommendations were “based on science and existing literature.”
According to a national survey, an estimated 49% of all pregnancies in the United States were unintended in 2001.
With contraceptives covered in health plans, the study believes families can better plan pregnancies.