Fantastic news today: the Obama Administration has ensured that most all employers will have to offer insurance plans that cover birth control!
Per the news release from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services: “the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended preventive services, including all FDA-approved forms of contraception.” [emphasis mine]
Jessica Arons, Director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at American Progress, guest blogging for ThinkProgress:
Today, in a huge victory for women’s health, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that most employers will be required to cover contraception in their health plans, along with other preventive services, with no cost-sharing such as co-pays or deductibles. This means that after years of trying to get birth control covered to the same extent that health plans cover Viagra, our country will finally have nearly universal coverage of contraception.
Opponents of contraception had lobbied hard for a broad exemption that would have allowed any religiously affiliated employer to opt out of providing such coverage. Fortunately, the Obama administration rejected that push and decided to maintain the narrow religious exemption that it initially proposed. Only houses of worship and other religious nonprofits that primarily employ and serve people of the same faith will be exempt.
…Family planning results in better health outcomes for women and their children—a woman who has a planned pregnancy is more likely to be in better health when she gets pregnant and more likely to seek prenatal care, and children who are born at least two years apart are healthier. Family planning is also the most effective tool we have in reducing unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion. [emphasis mine]
It is terrific to get some good news on women’s reproductive rights from this administration. Thank you, President Obama & Secretary Sebelius.
The full statement on the decision from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is here.
Planned Parenthood has petition so you can thank President Obama for standing up for women’s health.