Paying for Birth Control — What’s Your Story?

Have you heard the good news? Beginning August 1, 2012, the full range of birth control methods will be available to tens of millions of U.S. women with no co-pays or deductibles.

How wonderful is that?!

Along with several other preventive services for women, the new guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services require health insurance plans to cover contraception and contraceptive counseling. This marks true progress — viewing birth control as preventive health care and making sure women have access to services that impact their health and the health of their families.

This is good news.

But what’s even better is that Maine happens to be more than a decade ahead of Washington, D.C. on this one. In 1999, the Maine Legislature passed what is known as an Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraception Coverage (EPICC) law. This law basically says that any insurance company doing business in Maine, that offers a prescription benefit, has to include contraception coverage.

Go Maine!

This is all terrific news for women with health insurance coverage. But what about the millions of women and teens who don’t have any form of health insurance?  Women like Rachel Fey, who wrote about it in this  Pregnant Pause blog post.

Rachel’s story is not unique — our clinical staff hear stories like this all the time, as new clients describe their struggles to pay for birth control when they are also trying to cover their families’ and their own basic living expenses. These women are so relieved to visit a family planning health center and discover that we provide low- and no-cost birth control to our clients.

In a recent survey Hart Research Associates found that 34% of women voters in the U.S. have struggled with the cost of prescription birth control at some point in their lives. For young adult women, 55% experienced a time when they could not afford to use birth control consistently.

What’s your contraception story?  Have you ever had to decide whether to pay for birth control or buy other life necessities like groceries or heating oil?

We’re hoping that many of our readers will share their stories and we’re giving you two online opportunities to answer these questions.

You can go to FPA Asks on our website and provide a simple Yes or No answer to our online poll question.

And, you can share your story in the comments section of our blog.  It’s as easy as one-two-three!

One — sign in below with your name (just your first name is fine) and the password we provide.

Two — enter as much (or as little) of your story as you want to share.

Three — click on Post Comment to add your story to our blog.

When you’re done, please spread the word!

Share this blog posting with your friends and invite them to add their own stories to the mix.

Together, let’s tell the stories that show why insurance coverage for birth control and family planning services are important to U.S. women!

~ Nancy

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