Should Birth Control Be Free?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Birth control and other preventative measures may be covered by insurance under the health care overhaul, which could save women -- who spend the grand majority of their fertile years trying to avoid pregnancy -- a lot of cash.

According to MSNBC:

"Starting this fall, the health care overhaul will require new health plans to begin providing a range of preventive health services at no cost to patients. Many people, including women's health advocates and some employer groups, think contraception should be one of the required free services."

Makes sense, right?

Prenatal and birth care costs insurance around $10,000 on average. And though many health plans already cover prescription contraceptives and 27 states have laws that require some level of coverage, improvements to access and coverage could help stop the estimated nearly 3 million pregnancies a year that are unplanned.

Consider this:

"A PriceWaterhouseCoopers study commissioned by NBGH estimated that the cost to health plans of providing preventive family planning services is about $40 per member annually. A typical family policy costs about $13,000 a year."

It seems like a no-brainer to me. As someone who had phenomenal insurance when I had my children, I can say that having my babies was ultimately cheaper, since I was no longer shelling out $50 a month to be on the pill.

After I had my kids, I got an IUD, which was $500. Luckily, my insurance picked up the bill for that one because $500 up front is a lot to pay, even for a method that's good for a decade. It's no wonder so many women only buy three months' worth of birth control at a time.

As of now, under most plans, I believe Viagra is typically covered, so birth control should be a no-brainer. All in all, it saves money, but it isn't just an economic thing.

I'm so sick of moralistic rules that block women from getting adequate health care. We can be so hypocritical in this country and there's just no excuse for making birth control unattainable for people without means and then condemning them when they get pregnant. Sex is fun and people have it for reasons other than procreation. Birth control should be covered.

End of story.

Do you think birth control should be free?

Image via nateOne/Flickr

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