Full Coverage For Contraceptives and Other Reproductive Health Services Recommended In Health Care Reform


After a year of relentless attacks on women’s access to affordable health care comes some good news.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended to the Department of Health and Human Services that birth control be considered a preventative health service. Should HHS accept the IOM recommendation, virtually all health insurance plans would be required to offer female patients free coverage for contraception.

The recommendation is just one of several findings made by the IOM concerning preventative health care services for women. Breast pumps rentals, counseling for domestic violence and annual wellness exams and HIV tests were also recommended as preventative health services for coverage. The IOM suggested strengthening several existing services as well.

The recommendations come as the Affordable Care Act continues to roll out. The ACA requires plans to cover the services listed in HHS’s comprehensive list of preventative services.

While the science clearly backs the findings, predictably conservative groups have turned the recommendations into a debate about abortion. Groups like the Family Research Council argue coverage for contraception would lead to subsidizing of abortion by way of the “morning after” pill.

HHS has until August 2nd to decide whether to accept the IOM recommendations or not.

Photo from brainsthehead via flickr.


LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Interesting article and comments, thank you.

Veronica C.
Veronica C6 years ago

Free isn't going to be free at all. It's going to raise the costs for those who do have insurance, with a co-pay and a deductible. It all sounds so nice until some of us get the bill for it.

James R. Stewart Jr.

I Whole-heartedly AGREE !!!

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Amanda M.
Amanda M6 years ago

Not only is an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure, but this is a great step towards true equality of women and the recognition of how reproductive health care is just that-HEALTH CARE. Women don't just use contraception for pregnancy prevention, they also use it for health reasons! Just ask a woman who's taken BC for ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, crippling cramps, an irregular cycle, mondo mood swings, or severe bleeding, to name a few reasons! For these women, pregnancy prevention is the LAST thing they need the Pill for-they're just trying to stay functioning members of society!

And news flash: The Pill or Plan B are not, I repeat, NOT abortion! Pregnancy doesn't begin until the blastocyst IMPLANTS, which is several days past fertilization! If it fails to implant, the same thing happens that happens to the woman every month-her PERIOD. And if she doesn't want to get pregnant, then that is something that she will be GLAD to see happen-periods are not miscarriages by any stretch of the imagination!

Grainne O'Carroll
Grainne OCarroll6 years ago

People should have to pay for their own medication, but often they won’t. When it comes to contraceptives, it is much cheaper for the state to pay for this than to support a child for 18 - 20 years.

Sue T.
Susan T6 years ago

WHY should this be FREE?

I have an illness (Chrones) that I have to pay $$$ for my Rx every month. I cannot change my disease...it is with me and it is mine.

So why should contraceptives be FREE? don't have sex and if you do go to the store and get a CONDOM! this is such BS.

free well somebody is paying for it. what a crock of shit

J. C.
Jess Carson6 years ago

Women need contraception options for more reasons than just to prevent pregnancy (not as if most of your medical professionals don't know this). Please DHHS, make this happen!

And regarding the "morning after" pill; lets keep things in perspective - if your egg does become fertilized by a sperm after intercourse, it only beomes a grouping of c e l l s. ...for up to 3 weeks!

Jenn C.
Jenn C6 years ago

As a pro-lifer I heartily approve of extended coverage for contraceptives.

Kathryn Terhune Cotton

Beth C.
Of course you are correct. I simply meant that from the republican/pro-life view I believe that most of them are only concerned with all those unborn children they advocate so strongly for while in fact, if it puts them out one iota, they don't really give a fig. It's easy to be so passionate about something when it doesn't actually inconvenience you.