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Planned Parenthood Hails Institute of Medicine Recommendation on

Planned Parenthood Hails Institute of Medicine Recommendation on
Coverage of Prescription Birth Control Without Co-Pays
Proposed Federal Rule Could Help Millions of Women Avoid Unintended Pregnancy
Planned Parenthood yesterday hailed the Institute of Medicine (IOM)’s recommendation on including prescription birth control as a women’s preventive health service, which would be covered without co-pays by new insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. If adopted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the policy could eliminate cost barriers that keep many American women from using birth control consistently.
“Hundreds of thousands of women in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley struggle every day to afford prescription birth control,” said Sheri Bonner, President & CEO at Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley. “This recommendation brings us closer to making sure that all newly insured women under the health care reform law will have access to prescription birth control without cost barriers and is an amazing stride forward for women’s health in this country.”
A 2010 survey by Hart Research found that more than a third of female voters struggled with the cost of prescription birth control at some point in their lives, and as a result, had used birth control inconsistently. On average, a woman spends 30 years of her life trying to prevent pregnancy.
Co-pays for birth control pills typically range between $15 and $50 per month. Other methods, such as IUDs, often cost several hundred dollars, even with health insurance.
In 2010, HHS asked the IOM to consider what services should qualify as a preventive service under the Women’s Health Amendment to the Affordable Care Act. The act authorizes HHS to set national policy on the issue. The agency’s ruling is expected in August.
To ensure that women’s voices were part of this national conversation, Planned Parenthood launched Birth Control Matters, an awareness campaign that has helped demonstrate widespread support for covering birth control without co-pays.
According to a recent Thomson Reuters-NPR Health poll, 77 percent of Americans believe that private medical insurance should provide no-cost birth control and 74 percent believe that government-sponsored plans should do the same.

July 22, 2011

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