As early as September of this year, a portion of the Affordable Care Act will be implemented. The bill will allow folks who qualify to receive preventive care, including regular check-ups, screenings, and immunizations, without paying anything out-of-pocket. These preventive services will not only help many low-income individuals prevent diseases but it will also help alleviate the price of these costly exams.
But what about family planning? Many women health organizations including the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health are demanding that contraceptive services be part of the Affordable Care Act and covered as preventive medicine. The time has come for many of us to demand that birth control coverage be also included. RH Reality Check has a great explanation of why we need to have family planning services be part of a health coverage preventative plan.
Finding the correct contraceptives for women can be challenging and require trying many different options. But what happens to women when the one that is the optimal choice for them is the one not covered by their insurance?
The Washington Post reports Allison Nichols’ story. She says she’d be grateful for help covering her contraceptive costs. The 25-year-old owner of a natural foods store in New York pays $77 a month for her birth control pill, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. There’s no generic version of that pill available, and her health plan covers only generics. She’s tried other pills, but they made her moody and caused weight gain. Her options now seem limited. “I’m just going to pay for it,” she says.
Just like Allison’s story illustrates a struggle with her health insurance and her experience with how different birth control options affect her body, many women experience the same and maybe even worse. There are women that are not able to pay out-of-pocket costs and run the risk of winding up with an unintended pregnancy.
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health will be hosting a Cafecito on Wednesday July 14 where we will be discussing the issues that involve contraception being included in a preventative health plan and we want you to join. It will be in English and Spanish, so make sure to register and call in!!!!
By Sheila Reynoso, Research Intern