More than 38 million American women currently use birth control, and nearly all (98 percent) sexually active American women have used birth control at some time in their lives. Yet far too many insurance policies do not cover the cost of this basic health care need.
In the courts and in Congress, at the federal level and in the states, Planned Parenthood is a leader in the movement to guarantee insurance coverage for contraceptives. In 1998, Planned Parenthood won a major legislative victory with the requirement that prescription contraceptive drugs and devices be included in insurance coverage for all employees of the federal government. Now we are working with our allies to ensure that Congress and state legislatures pass laws guaranteeing insurance coverage for birth control in the private market.
More than half of the states require insurers that provide prescription drug coverage to also cover contraceptives, but it is imperative that all women have this important benefit. The lack of insurance coverage is costly — for insurers who may end up paying the costs of childbirth or abortion, and for women whose physical and financial well-being may be undermined by an unintended pregnancy.