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Planned Parenthood Outreach/Materials Aim to Educate Women About the Birth Control Benefit


New Surveys Show a Majority of Women Are Unaware that Birth Control Is Covered for Free Without a Copay from Health Insurance Plans Under Obamacare

 



NEW YORK, NY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America released the following statement and consumer facing resources in response to three separate surveys released yesterday showing that the majority of women don’t know about the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) preventive benefit which requires all insurance companies to cover the full-range of contraception methods for free without a copay.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“These findings amplify the importance of educating women about the new benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act. Planned Parenthood worked hard to make sure the full-range of FDA-approved contraception methods were covered under the preventive benefit and we’re committed to making sure women know that every new plan will cover birth control for free without a copay as part of the law.

“Already, 27 million women across the country are benefiting from this provision — which not only includes birth control at no cost — but also other preventive care like cancer screenings and STD testing. By the time the law is fully implemented, that number will reach 47 million.
 
“This isn’t just a health care issue — it’s a fundamental economic issue for women and their families. More than a third of women voters say they’ve struggled to afford their birth control prescription at some point in their lives — and because of that, they haven’t used it consistently.  But studies show that when cost isn’t a factor, women switch to the birth control method that’s right for them — and experience fewer unintended pregnancies. 
 
“The wide availability of birth control has been an enormous benefit for countless women and their families — enabling them to support themselves financially, complete their education, and plan their families and have children when they’re ready.”

After decades of discriminatory coverage by insurance companies, the birth control benefit requires all insurance policies to cover birth control with no out-of-pocket cost to women — because it’s part of preventive care.

Birth control has had such a dramatic impact on women and families in this country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named it one of the top 10 public health achievements of the past century. Now, with implementation of the Affordable Care Act, America is poised to experience the single biggest advancement in women’s health in a generation, one that is already making a huge difference in the lives of women across the country.

FACT:  The good news is all insurance plans have to cover at least one type of each kind of birth control (pills, implants, IUDs, etc.) without a copay, which means you don’t pay anything out-of-pocket for it. But they don’t have to cover every brand. Some insurance companies might charge a copay for the specific brand and type of birth control you use. Get specific and find out which brands are covered.

Questions to ask your insurance provider:

What brands of birth control are covered under your plan without a copay for the following types? 

  •  pills
  • IUDs
  • implants 

Do you cover (insert your brand of choice here) without a copay? This question is really important if you have a birth control brand or type that you prefer.

If the insurance provider says they do charge a copay:  How much would the copay be for [your specific brand and type]? 

If the insurance provider says, “No, your brand of choice is not covered”: Ask your current health care provider if alternative brands of birth control are available that fit your needs. Also, see if other health plans do cover your brand without a copay.

  • Is emergency contraception covered under this plan?  If so, what brands are covered by your plan? 
  • Will I need a prescription to get it without a copay?
  • Does the prescription need to be from an in-network provider, or can it be from any doctor or health center?
  • If I don’t have a prescription, and I have to buy it over the counter at a drugstore instead, can I file a claim to be reimbursed under this insurance plan?

You can read an insurance interview guide (with a question specifically on the birth control benefit) here. This is part of Planned Parenthood’s ongoing campaign to help inform and educate millions of uninsured Americans about the benefits and availability of new health insurance plans.

You can find more consumer facing resources at http://plannedparenthoodhealthinsurancefacts.org.

You can read some stories from them supporters of the birth control benefit here.

Some highlights include: 

  • “For the first time in my life I was able to afford birth control on my own, because my insurance finally covers it.” - Kendall G., Rogers, AZ
  • “Before the ACA, my insurance company considered OB/GYNs ‘specialists’ therefore, the copay was high and lab work was not covered. Additionally, the birth control that was covered was listed as a third tier prescription- meaning I paid $60 a month. Last week I saw my doctor for my annual exam, and had no copay or lab bill. Yesterday I picked up the first of my new annual prescription and paid nothing! This will save me around $900 a year, which is significant for a young, married professional.”  - Ivy B., Panama City Beach, FL
  • “My IUD had a $600 copay before the Affordable Care Act was passed -- which was completely out of my price range. Thanks to the act I did not have to pay anything at all and my husband and I don't have to worry that an unplanned pregnancy will hold us back from graduating college next spring.” - Samantha T., Reno, NV
  • “I am so grateful that President Obama sees the vital importance of proper healthcare for women including increased access to affordable birth control. This change is significant for me in that I will now save $120 a year. When you make $35,000 a year that makes a difference. - Lisa P., Oklahoma City, OK

Planned Parenthood has some of $0 receipts featured on our Pinterest page here: http://pinterest.com/ppaction/birth-control-we-all-benefit/

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.



Contacts

Planned Parenthood media office: 212-261-4433

Published: 11.21.13

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