Health care insurance plans in the United States are now being required to offer free birth control to women with no copays. The federal health department recently passed the bill, which will allow all women, regardless of income, to get free birth control.
While this new bill is still a controversial subject among many politicians, health care professionals and individuals throughout the United States, there is no question that free birth control can mean less unplanned pregnancies for teens and young men and women throughout the country. In addition to the bill, woman will also receive breast pump rentals for nursing mothers for free as well as an annual wellness physical for women that screen for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer.
While some of the requirements for this bill like free birth control will begin happening starting now to over the next few months, the final aspects of the bill must be implemented by January 2013. This is a part of the new health care provision that is also set to take place over the next months until it is finalized in January 2013.
Because birth control is so widely used in the United States, with about 90 million prescriptions dispensed in 2009, it is clear that birth control is in high demand. However, many women cannot even afford modest co-pays, especially teens without jobs. This requirement will be to all forms of birth control including the pill, intrauterine devices, the morning-after pill, the shot and implantable hormonal contraceptives. The only the stipulation is that doctors will be able to prescribe free generic versions of these birth control drugs while still charging for the name brand versions.
Who can get free birth control?
Currently teens under the age of 18, but over 16, can get access to birth control from a health care clinic or health care professional without parent permission. Usually to get birth control, the teen will have to get a physical female wellness exam before they can get the birth control. Any other woman with health care will also be able to get access to the free birth control. Emergency contraception like Ella or the Plan B bill will also be available for free under this new plan.
Where to get free birth control?
Free birth control will be available through any Planned Parenthood or similar health care clinic as well as can get a prescription from any health care provider or private doctors office. From there, the birth control prescription then can be picked up at any pharmacy.
Because the free birth control is not yet available, it is difficult to tell how the effect of free birth control access for teens and young women will be on the number of unintended pregnancies that occur each year. However, many lawmakers and health care professionals hope that there will be a significant decrease in the number of teen pregnancies. Because of the free cost, many are concerned with insurance premiums rising. However, those increased costs may offset the number of taxes that are spent each year on supporting unemployed teen moms that are seeking government assistance to care for their baby. Only time will tell if free birth control will serve as a way to provide those teens with the resources they need to practice safe sex and cut down the number of unintended teen pregnancies.
Free birth control and prevention:
Even with free birth control soon to be available for teens and women everywhere, the birth control won’t do anyone any good if the teen doesn’t know how to use it properly or they do not seek getting teen birth control for fear of repercussion for their parents. If you are a parent of a teen that may be having sexual relationships, then it is time to bring up the concept of safe sex, birth control and abstinence. While many parents believe they shouldn’t allow their teen to have birth control or condoms as they feel it encourages them to have sex, there are other parents who want their child to know about sex and how to protect themselves from unintended pregnancies as well as the risks of sexually transmitted diseases. As a parent, it is important to explain all of these aspects to their child. Encouragement to have sex doesn’t have to be part of the discussion, however teens need to know and understand about birth control options and how to get access to birth control.
Source: discoveryhealth.com, plannedparenthood.org, sexetc.org