Insurance For Contraception

Is our health care system biased when it comes to women? Some providers of health insurance cover prescribed drugs but rule out contraceptives for female workers. But isn’t this norm myopic because pregnancies that are not wanted incur high costs, not only financially but also to the health. The universal health agenda of the United States should take care of this problem, which should also include insurance coverage for contraception. Imagine how Viagra is covered while birth control pills and the like are not, that is enough cause for concern.

The co-president of National Women’s Law Center, Marcia Greenberger testified to the senate that accessibility to consistent contraceptives is indispensable to the health of women, that the negligence of insurance providers to cover it has long term consequences, not only to women’s health but also to their children’s health as well. Contraception is a basic & pressing need for the female employees and should not be neglected.

Pregnancy is a condition exclusive to the female species and contraceptives that require prescriptions are those that are for women’s use. Thus, refusing to cover them puts women at a disadvantage translating into the unfair bias of insurance companies against a woman’s necessity. Without contraception, women are forced to have an abortion which incurs higher health expenses, not to mention the physical strain that their body is subjected to, as well as the psychological effects it places on the emotions. This emotional anxiety should be comparable to the stress caused by impotence on men. But why is it that insurers cover only the use of Viagra?

If that argument is not enough to convince, then how about finances, contraception should be counted as preventive health care. The expenses involved in using contraceptives are very minimal compared to the price of: pre-natal check ups, ultra sound, vitamins, etc.; labor & delivery in a hospital including a few days stay for recovery, not to mention c-section cases; postnatal care including infant care; and many more health-related expenses associated with pregnancy.

Consequently, it all boils down to the old adage “prevention is better than the cure.” A lot of expense can be saved if contraception is included in the coverage of insurance. The new health reform bill should include this issue in its entirety. Not only can we lessen the cost of protecting women’s overall health but we can also ensure their reproductive health.

If equity isn’t a convincing enough argument, then money should to it. Contraception can be considered preventative care. Dollars spent on contraception are nothing compared to the cost of pre-natal, labor, newborn care, and other pregnancy-related health coverage. Congress could act and demand that all insurance companies cover contraceptives for women, or we could switch to a national health plan that would cover all women. Either way, offering contraception as covered prescriptions results in less money spent and healthier women.

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