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Opinion: The Unjust Relationship between Birth Control and Insurance Companies

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, womxn and their access to birth control have improved immensely. Womxn with insurance now pay little to no co-pay when obtaining birth control, or at least that’s what all insurances want you to think.

While most insurances do cover birth control with little to no co-pay, there are still quite a few that barely cover birth control if they do at all or will only cover generic brands, this I know from my own personal battles. 

From my own experience, I had to battle my insurance company and ultimately switched insurances to once again have health coverage for birth control. 

The issue began when I was in between insurances and was using supplementary insurance until I was back on Blue Cross Blue Shield. All of a sudden, I had a pricey co-pay for my birth control pills, but I didn’t really think much of it. 

The major problem began when I decided to switch from birth control pills to an IUD (intrauterine device). I found that an IUD was better for my circumstances and lifestyle at the time and decided it was the best route for me to take. When I called to make an appointment, I provided my new insurance information and thought I was good to go. Then I received a call, my insurance will not cover my IUD and if I want it I must pay $1,800 out of pocket.

copper intrauterine device
Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition from Unsplash

This never happened to me before. I spent days arguing with the insurance company and advocating for myself to be able to get my IUD. At the end of it all, if I wanted it covered, I had to switch insurances.  And finally, I switched. 

Like all the other health/reproductive battles womxn face, I was forced to advocate for a basic health service I was denied. While I was quite lucky to be able to switch insurances to obtain coverage for my IUD, many womxn are unable to do that. They either have to pay fees to receive birth control or simply go without it.  

Examples of excuses why insurances may not cover are because they are short-term insurance or if a private employer objects to covering birth control on a moral or religious ground they can receive a federal exemption, etc. according to WebMD.

Neon Tommy - Creative Commons

While there are organizations like Planned Parenthood to help womxn with their birth control needs, why do womxn have to take such difficult routes to obtain coverage?

The relationship between birth control and insurance companies still stands as unjust and unequal when there are still exceptions for womxn to not have their birth control fully covered.


* Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Her Campus. 

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Photos: Her Campus Media 

Gianna is currently a junior at American University in Washington, D.C., and is majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. She is the managing editor of Her Campus at American University. Gianna enjoys writing about Women's Advocacy, Politics and Pop Culture. She also loves to travel and find hole-in-the-wall restaurants in D.C.
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