Contraceptive Equity

On Oct. 6, PA State Representatives Lisa Bennington and Chelsa Wagner, both Democrats from Allegheny County, introduced HB 2756, which would require insurance companies to cover FDA-approved contraceptives under their prescription plans. While some insurance companies already do treat birth control prescriptions like other medications, others don’t, forcing women to spend more money on basic medical care.

Although the PA Legislature is nearing the end of its session and will likely not vote on HB 2756 this year, Reps. Bennington and Wagner felt it was important to raise this issue with their colleagues in the state House.

“It is hard to believe that over 70 years ago, as a staunch advocate for a woman’s right to birth control, Margaret Sanger was fighting for a woman’s choice to decide how and when, if ever, she will bear children,” Bennington said. “Yet, here we are, 70 years later, fighting to have all health insurers cover the cost of contraception so that women can exercise control over their bodies and reproductive rights. It’s ridiculous that they don’t, and we are demanding that a woman’s reproductive health and future be placed in her own hands and not the hands of insurance companies.”

Similar legislation was introduced in the PA Legislature last year. On Feb. 7, 2007, state Senator Connie Williams introduced the Prescription Contraception Equity Act (SB 38). On Sept. 11 of last year, Rep. Daylin Leach introduced the House version of the legislation, HB 316.

Some interesting facts to note, according to the findings of the bill:

  • On average, women of reproductive age spend 68% more on out of pocket medical expenses than men in their age group.
  • Twenty-three other states have passed legislation requiring insurance companies to cover birth control prescriptions.
  • The cost to add insurance coverage for contraception to those plans that don’t cover it is less than $2 per employee per month.

About womenslawproject

The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
This entry was posted in Contraception, Health insurance, PA Legislature, Women's health and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Contraceptive Equity

  1. Krista says:

    It amazes me that birth control prescriptions are still not covered under health insurance plans. I was once told that the only way my health insurance plan would cover my birth control, was if I needed it for something other than…birth control. That makes alot of sense, doesn’t it? You would think that health insurance companies would be eager to provide coverage, since the cost of pregnancy and having a child would far surpass the cost of the prescription. And most BC prescriptions are quite costly, so any coverage the insurers might provide would be readily accepted by most women.

Comments are closed.