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Should Health Insurance Plans Fully Cover Contraception?


Image: manymeez under CC 3.0

For the most part, health insurance plans do cover contraception, such as birth control pills. However, they are usually subject to co-payments like other medications. In some cases, they are put on a higher, less-essential tier: meaning that the insurer picks up a higher percentage of the cost–for example, a woman may have to pay $25 or $30 to fill the prescription instead of $5 or $10 that she’d be charged for other medications. For people with health savings accounts or other high-deductible plans, the full cost often rests on their shoulders.

Now, doctors and activists are calling for birth control to be fully covered as part of health care plans. After all, paying for those prescriptions is far less expensive than providing prenatal care (which is often sought later when unplanned), and less controversial than abortion. Some believe that the health insurance reform legislation can be interpreted as mandating such coverage by the Department of Health and Human Services, due to an added amendment to the healthcare reform bill.

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