The Obama administration recently announced the biggest change in women’s health care since the advent of the birth control pill more than 40 years ago: coverage of birth control as prevention, with “no co-pays”!
In addition to making the pill available to insureds at no cost, other services ranging from breast pumps for new mothers to counseling on domestic violence were also included in the broad expansion of women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. In most cases, these changes will be applied to health plans on January 1, 2013. Millions of women are expected to benefit from this change. Interestingly, many health care experts predicted the change will promote the use of costlier long-acting contraceptives, such as hormonal implants. Furthermore, health care providers and experts agree that these changes will result in slight increases in health plan premiums.
At first, some plans may be exempt because of a provision of the health care law known as the “grandfather clause”, however those plans could face pressure to include the new coverage.
As recently as the 1990s, many health insurance plans didn’t even cover birth control. Protests, court cases and new state laws led to dramatic changes. Today, almost all plans cover prescription contraceptives – with varying co-pays. Medicaid, the health care program for low-income people, also covers birth control.
A recent government study found that birth control use is common place amongst American women. Still, about half of all pregnancies in this country are unplanned. Many are among women using some form of contraception and forgetting to take the pill is a major reason.
For more information on health benefits and updates to healthcare, contact your LL Roberts PEO representative (toll free) at 877.878.6463