President Trump has pulled back on the federal requirement that employers must cover contraceptive services in their health plans.
As of October 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with orders by the Trump administration, pulled back on the federal requirement that employers must include covered contraception services in their health insurance plans. The new regulation for employers allows them to exclude covering birth control services if it differs from their personal religious beliefs or moral convictions.
In former regulations under Obamacare, the HHS specified that all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity are to be included in coverage through employers. The new rules by the Trump administration give employers the “right” to take all of these off the table as an option for thousands of women.
Before Obamacare, a national survey concluded that a third of women using a less effective contraceptive method, like the pill, would switch to a more effective method if they didn’t have the worry of cost. The regulations concerning birth control, set by Obamacare, broke this cost barrier for women’s health and made room for better options without the unaccessible price.
If an employer can now deny that accessibility, it can leave thousands of women paying high costs for contraception like hormonal intrauterine devices (IUD), contraceptive rings or the pill. Out of pocket expenses for an IUD can cost over $1000 (lasts 3-12 years depending on type) and pill birth controls can range from $20- $50 a month. These out of pocket costs for women could leave them with limited options for their budget or, in some cases, without an option completely- choosing between birth control or groceries.
For even more perspective, before Obamacare contraceptive benefits, 30-44% of women’s out of pocket expenses for their health insurance was spent on birth control. In 2013 alone, Obamacare benefits for birth control saved women in the United States 1.4 billion dollars. Several studies have shown that as of spring 2014 (after Obamacare regulations), over 66% of women using oral birth control and about 75% of women using vaginal birth control are paying $0 out of pocket for this contraceptives.
With new birth control regulations set by the Trump administration, it leaves all women vulnerable to have affordable birth control snatched from their reach.
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- Wilkinson, T. (2017, October 12). Why my patients will suffer under Trump’s new birth control rule. Retrieved November 2, 2017, from https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/10/12/16464204/patients-suffer-trump-new-birth-control-rule
- Trump Administration Allows Employers to Take Birth Control Coverage Away from Women. (2017, October 13). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from https://nwlc.org/resources/trump-administration-allows-employers-to-take-birth-control-coverage-away-from-women/
- The Affordable Care Act’s Birth Control Benefit Is Working for Women. (2016, December 16). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from https://nwlc.org/resources/the-affordable-care-acts-birth-control-benefit-is-working-for-women/