From RH Reality Check: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/12/12/study-reveals-dramatic-rise-in-share-of-women-accessing-contraception-without-a-co-pay/
by Jodi Jacobson,
December 12, 2013
A new study reveals that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is responsible for a dramatic rise in the share of privately insured women in the United States who have gained access to contraception without a co-pay.
The study, conducted by Guttmacher Institute researchers Lawrence B. Finer, Adam Sonfield, and Rachel K. Jones and published in the journal Contraception, found that the share of privately insured women who had no co-pay for oral contraceptive pills rose from 15 percent to 40 percent after the ACA’s birth control benefit went into effect in January 2013. The authors report a similar increase, from 23 percent to 52 percent, among privately insured users of the vaginal ring.
“Our analysis provides the first quantitative evidence that the cost-sharing protection under the ACA is indeed working as intended,” said Finer, director of domestic research at the Guttmacher Institute and lead author of the study, in a statement. “Large numbers of women who couldn’t previously do so are now obtaining birth control without co-pays or deductibles, which allows them to more easily attain contraception’s well-documented health, social and economic benefits.”
The study draws on data from an ongoing, nationally representative survey of women ages 18 to 39, comparing women’s responses in fall 2012 (before the birth control benefit took effect for most women) and spring 2013, when millions were able to access contraception using the benefit.
Hormonal birth control is used for any number of reasons, including to practice safer sex and avoid unwanted or unintended pregnancy, to address medical needs, and for menstrual regulation. Data analyzed by Guttmacher show that most U.S. families want two children. “To achieve this [goal], the average woman spends about five years pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant, and three decades—more than three-quarters of her reproductive life—trying to avoid an unintended pregnancy,” Guttmacher notes in a recent fact sheet on unintended pregnancy in the United States. Roughly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. For many women, the high cost of birth control has proven to be a major barrier, one the ACA was intended to remove.
Continue reading at: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/12/12/study-reveals-dramatic-rise-in-share-of-women-accessing-contraception-without-a-co-pay/