(BLOGHER OPEN DEBATE) Should Birth Control be Free?
By Melissa Ford on February 03, 2011
BlogHer Original Post
What if you didn't have to pay each month for birth control? What if birth control pills were free to every insurance-holder in America?
The New York Times reported today on a possible change in the way birth control is handled by insurance companies.
The Obama administration is examining whether the new health care law can be used to require insurance plans to offer contraceptives and other family planning services to women free of charge.
According to the administration, the new health care bill aims at keeping insurance from being dropped, denied, or limited, and this new examination of whether or not birth control fits as "preventative care" ties in nicely with the overall goal of reducing uncompensated or avoidable care in the future. Ensuring that women have access to birth control also fits into their plan to balance discrepancies in coverage between men and women, including the part of the bill that states that by 2014, women cannot be charged more for health insurance than men.
Covering birth control would fit under preventative care because it would curb unwanted pregnancies and abortion in the future. It would also allow families to space children and avoid other medical conditions that can occur when a woman's body is not given enough time to recover between pregnancies.
Americans wouldn't need to take advantage of this development -- utilizing birth control would always be an individual's decision.
Still, some are unhappy with the idea of making birth control more readily available as well as classifying family planning as preventative care. In addition, mandating coverage would mean that some faith-based employers would need to offer insurance that contradicts the religious beliefs of the organization.
Join the debate right now by posting your thoughts in the comment section:
What are your thoughts?
- With preventative care currently free under the new health care bill, would you also like to see birth control pills covered?
- Are you upset with the idea of birth control becoming more readily available?
- Or would you rather government not step into the world of insurance and dictate what services need to be covered?
by Melissa Ford