More and more women are getting access to free birth control thanks to Obamacare, which aims to make the pill more accessible moving forward.
According to the IMS Institute, the number of privately insured women who received birth control without a copayment rose from 14 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2013, marking a big step forward in making the practice standard. The Obamacare law requiring that most health plans cover birth control at no cost took effect in 2013, and has so far saved women an annual amount of $269.
“It’s one of the most concrete ways that women have seen that the Affordable Care Act is helping them,” Amy Allina, deputy director of the National Women’s Health Network, told Fox News.
Women will have access to free birth control if they get health insurance through most employers, the state’s Marketplace, or private insurers. The Affordable Care Act's terms only apply to new health insurance plans from employers or private insurers. This past week, the Supreme Court ruled that some employers with “religious scruples” could opt out of the birth control requirement, but most companies seem to be providing it regardless; employee benefits consultants say it's unlikely that employers will remove contraceptive coverage due to the ruling. Birth control methods approved by the FDA and provided by the Affordable Care Act include pills, shots, NuvaRings, patches, and cervical caps. It also includes emergency contraceptions like Plan B.
Other preventative services the health plan will cover include alcohol misuse screening and counseling, cholesterol and blood pressure screening, depression screening, and immunization vaccines. Preventative services for women in particular include screening for gestational diabetes, sexually-transmitted disease and HIV counseling, breastfeeding support, and screening/counseling for domestic violence.