Why Health Insurance Covering Birth Control Is Essential For Reproductive Rights?July 11, 2020
Isn’t it a little funny that uteruses are making policymakers, insurance companies, and lobbyists extremely squeamish? But why is it so? Not to mention, 50.8 percent of citizens in the United States are female as well as a large majority of us happen to have a uterus. (Even though a uterus does not make a woman) Still, people with uteruses are struggling every day to acquire the care they require, especially when it comes to requesting their insurance firms to pay for the care they require for health and wellbeing.
In the year 2010, the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA, highlighted one of the most vital steps in women’s health & public policy since…1965. Ouch. It not just aided more women to access health insurance and lowered the total expense but also provided coverage for numerous essential items such as birth control and mammograms.
Although ACA is a game-changer for citizens with uteruses, it does not quite change enough of the game. For instance, those suffering from infertility are most often overlooked. As a result, they struggle to find a single plan that provides coverage processes including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). That clearly calls out for the need for full coverage of sexual as well as reproductive health for all individuals, no matter uteruses or not.
Birth Control Is Not Just Pregnancy Prevention!
Let’s begin with a very basic element of reproductive care, that is hormonal contraception.
Colloquially that is often referred to as ‘the pill,’ the very first oral contraceptive was approved by the FDA in the year 1960.
Truth be told, birth control has come a long way since then. However, the general and clear understanding of its importance in people’s minds has not properly evolved.
Also Read: Menopause: Here’s Everything You Must Know
There is actually nothing wrong if a person uses hormonal birth control for preventing conception. Excuse me, it is what it is there for! Having said that, people with uteruses have the full right to decide when they wish to get pregnant. But recommending that pregnancy prevention is its only usage is erroneous. Hormonal birth control is also beneficial in the following cases:
- To regulate menstrual cycles
- To relieve period pain
- To reduce acne
- To lower the risks of cancer
- To minimize symptoms of PMS and PMDD
- To manage endometriosis
- To fight menstrual migraines
Also, birth control is a lifesaver for people with reproductive various disorders & diseases. It certainly helps them go to school or work and pay their bills. In essence, it lets them have a better quality of life that is not at all dominated by pain.
Meanwhile, insurance providers have a love-hate relationship with the pill (and various other forms of contraception). Under the ACA, they should provide coverage for birth control at full-cost with some exceptions. However, as the ACA faces more challenges in the courts, including at the higher level, it is increasingly not clear if the contraception rules will survive or not. Even the issue has gotten murkier with the demise of Justice Antonin Scalia and President Trump sticking his nose in.
Birth Control Must Be Free
Birth control has a long list of uses, and each one is different for the individual who takes it. At its core, though, it is one of the essential forms of preventative healthcare. Due to this birth control must be free of cost, no matter if it is accessed with or without insurance.
Also Read: Maternity Insurance Coverage
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there are 62 million people in the United States in their childbearing years. Out of those, 70 percent are at high risk of getting pregnant unplanned or unintended.
Most individuals normally use contraception for almost a third of their lives. The total/exact financial expense of this long-term contraception use increase as well. Unintended pregnancies negatively impact both lower-income workers and people of color.
When a price is put on birth control, people have to decide whether to use hormonal contraception or whether to go for other everyday expenses, such as pay their rent, raise food, or pay off their utilities. And these prices are much higher for people on a low-income, however, the price is not just related to the cost upon purchase.
According to a recent study, the women in the United States said that using birth control helps them to do things, including:
- Support themselves financially
- Take better care of their families
- Keep or get a new job
- Finish school
The financial benefits also increase to society. The cost of unplanned pregnancies is $12 billion a year. Most of those are often paid using Medicaid. Medicaid covered 43 percent of all births in the year 2017.
Also Read: Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid