Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.
A health panel has recommended that birth control be free for females in the U.S.
The physicians who joined medical professors on a National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine committee were asked to recommend preventative services that women should have access to – without co-pays, deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.
Now the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, which asked the group to make recommendations, will decide whether or not to approve them, and any changes will be part of health care reform.
To reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies in the U.S., the panel recommended making all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods free for females.
The report says: “Women with unintended pregnancies are more likely to receive delayed or no prenatal care and to smoke, consume alcohol, be depressed, and experience domestic violence during pregnancy. Unintended pregnancy also increases the risk of babies being born preterm or at a low birth weight, both of which raise their chances of health and developmental problems.”
If you choose to use contraception and have private insurance through your company or another group health plan, it’s a cost that you probably have factored into your budget.
We paid the co-pay for the birth control pill – Lori remembers that it was about $25 a month. Other procedures, like IUDs, cost several hundred bucks.
These recommendations have caused controversy, particularly among religious and conservative groups. And while this could be free for patients, it also is still to be determined how this would impact the cost of your health premiums, which are likely to rise.
What do you think about the recommendations?
If you’re a female, have you ever decided against birth control, lactation counseling/equipment, annual preventative doctors’ visits, and screenings because of the cost? If you’re a male, has your spouse made these decisions?
Do you think that include all FDA-approved contraceptives will help reduce the large number (49% nationally, according to 2001 data) of unintended pregnancies in the U.S.?
- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog