WASHINGTON, DC – Planned Parenthood said today that there is a need for clarity from the Obama administration to insure all insurance companies are providing women with the full-range of birth control methods without a copay as required by the Affordable Care Act, in light of a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The Affordable Care Act is the greatest advancement for women in a lifetime and thanks to the preventive benefit, 48.5 million women nationwide are eligible for birth control without a copay. This report shows that while many women are receiving their birth control without a copay, some insurance companies are not covering the full range methods as required by the Affordable Care Act.
“As the leading women’s health care provider and advocate, we know how important it is that women have access to the full range of contraceptive methods. We encourage the administration to provide guidance and clarity to insurance companies to ensure all women can access the birth control methods that work for them without cost barriers, as the law intended.
“We know that some of the most effective methods of birth control are also the most cost prohibitive and thanks to the Affordable Care Act and other efforts to make birth control more affordable, teen pregnancy rates are at a 40 year low. We must continue on that path.”
IUDs are the most cost effective method of birth control, since they can provide coverage for up to 12 years. But upfront cost can be a barrier for some women interested in using an IUD. That’s why the Affordable Care Act is so important. An IUD typically costs between $500 and $1,000, which covers the exam, insertion, and a follow-up visit.
- The ACA's birth control benefit has enabled many women to get full coverage with no copay for the birth control they need. This report shows that many plans are meeting the law and covering the full range of contraceptive methods with no cost sharing and no medical management restrictions.
- However, the report also shows that stronger enforcement of the birth control benefit is critical. Some women continue to report difficulty getting coverage under their plans for the birth control method they need without copay.
- There is variation in how health plans are following the contraceptive coverage requirement — with differences in plan coverage of certain contraceptive methods and relatively frequent use of medical management restrictions that delay (and could be a complete barrier to) a woman accessing birth control.
- Because of these differences, many women may not have coverage without copay for the birth control method they need.
- This contradicts the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and HHS guidelines. It also contradicts recent CDC and Office of Population Affairs guidelines, which make clear that offering women the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods is a critical part of high-quality family planning care and underscored the importance of contraceptive choice.
- The law was designed to make sure women can access without copay the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods.
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.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
April 16, 2015