Think birth control should be free without a copay? So do we, and it's the law.
But some women are being denied this coverage. Five years after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law, some health insurance companies are finding loopholes to deny coverage for certain methods of birth control.
The law is clear: All birth control methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women should be covered.
We fought hard for that benefit because we know that birth control is not one-size-fits-all, and that women should be able to access the method that works best for them — without cost barriers getting in the way. And insurance companies should cover ALL of them. This includes the following:
- Birth control pills
- Vaginal rings
- Sterilization procedures for women
- Patient education and counseling for women
Here’s the good news: Thanks to Obamacare, 48.5 million women nationwide are now eligible for birth control without a copay. Tons of women say that the ACA and its birth control benefit are working for them and their families.
“Thanks to zero copay birth control, I can get the medication I need without having to go without groceries for a week.”
In fact, women saved an average of $269 each in 2013 on birth control pills alone — a total of more than $483 million in out-of-pocket costs for birth control pills.
Here’s the bad news: The law only works if we enforce it and recent reports show that some insurance companies are still denying women coverage for the birth control methods that work best for them.
In the words of one woman in New York who didn’t get access to the affordable birth control that she needed:
“She [at the insurance company] told me that my group in my health insurance plan can pick what birth controls they want to cover and mine is not on the list. I thought that all contraceptives had to be covered without cost sharing as part of the ACA.... I am extremely frustrated and I feel like I am not being told the whole truth.” –Woman in New York
What You Can Do to Help
Health care companies shouldn't be able to twist the law to deny coverage or charge women copays for certain methods of birth control, but some are. Since these companies are shortchanging women, it's up to us to make sure full birth control coverage is available to women — no matter where they get insurance.
The head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, can take immediate (and simple) steps to enforce the ACA and ensure these women get the health care they need and deserve. Secretary Burwell can end this practice now, but she needs to hear from all Planned Parenthood supporters!
Take Action Now
Remember: The law only works if we enforce it. If you agree, add your name to the petition to Secretary Burwell now.