Institue of Medicine Recommends No Co-pay for Contraception

By Claire, Communications Intern

In a move that will significantly benefit everyone of reproductive age, the Institute of Medicine recommended in their report that insurance providers completely cover the cost of contraception.  Essentially, this would make birth control free for people with insurance. 

From NARAL Pro-Choice America’s press release, ” The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appointed the Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel to recommend which services should be included. The panel, which included obstetricians, gynecologists, and other leading women’s health experts, recommended fully covering family-planning care. HHS now will decide whether to adopt the experts’ recommendation and make no-cost contraception a benefit required by law.”  

Recommendation 5.5 addresses contraception and family planning.  It suggests that the “full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.”  Other recommendations include screening and counseling for HIV, yearly well-woman preventative check-ups,  general STI testing and counseling, HPV-specific testing and counseling, comprehensive lactation support and counseling, and screening/counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said in her statement, “Currently, nearly one in three women finds it difficult to pay for birth control, and that’s why the United States has a far higher unintended-pregnancy rate than other industrialized countries. Making family-planning services available at no cost will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy and thereby reduce the need for abortion. We are confident that the Obama administration will adopt the IOM’s science-based recommendation and make affordable contraception a reality for all women.”

This is super good news, especially in light of all the anti-choice, anti-birth control and anti-safe sex sentiments going around among various state and federal level politicians.  We can only hope that the Obama Administration will adopt these recommendations.

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