As of August of 2012, all health plans are required to cover all forms of contraception that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Some religious employers are fighting against having to comply with this law. Here are some tips for women who want their health plan to cover birth control.
All health plans are required to cover birth control without charging the consumer for a copay, coinsurance, or deductible. This includes individual health plans, group health plans, and public forms of health insurance. Some religious employers have filed lawsuits because they don’t want to comply with the birth control mandate. This puts women who want (or need) to use birth control into a difficult situation.
Here are some tips to help make sure that your birth control is covered in your health plan.
Get an Individual Plan
The court cases that are in regards to the birth control mandate are all coming from religious employers who feel that providing coverage for contraception in their workers health plans violates the religious beliefs of the employer. One easy way to avoid this problem is to get an individual health plan.
Use it instead of the one offered to you through your job. If you have an individual health plan, from a private insurance company, there is no possible way for your employer to exclude coverage for contraception from your health plan.
Speak with Human Resources
If you work for a big company, you may want to set up a time to talk with an HR representative. Specifically ask if the health insurance plan offered by your employer is going to cover birth control. Make sure to find it if it will cover all forms of birth control.
It is entirely possible that the company you work for is intending to provide that coverage. In this case, you can safely choose to use the health plan that comes from your job, and know that it will cover your birth control. Or, you may find out that the new plan won’t cover birth control (or the kind that you happen to be using). It is better to have advance warning of this than to suddenly find out that your health plan excludes coverage for it.
Get Covered by Your Spouse’s Plan
Let’s say your employer is religious, and will not cover birth control in the employer sponsored health plan. Will the health plan offered by your spouse’s employer cover all forms of contraception? If so, then you might want to seek coverage through your spouse’s plan instead of the one your company offers.
Consider Long Term Birth Control
Does your current health plan cover Implanon, IUD, or other forms of birth control that last for a year or more? Speak with your doctor to see if one of those options is right for you. Get it now, while your health plan covers it. This will give you at least a year before you have to worry about coverage for birth control again.
Image by Sarah C on Flickr