Your Birth Control News Round-Up

by Alice Lawton

Confirming what we all knew already, this week in birth control news: free birth control lowers pregnancy rates and actually saves money.

1. Colorado dramatically reduces teen pregnancy

For the past six years, Colorado has provided teenage and low-income women with long-acting birth control, such as IUDs. Not only were they low-cost or completely free for many women, they could be obtained confidentially from local clinics. The program has been a stunning success. The New York Times reports, “The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.” Unfortunately, Colorado will not continue to support the initiative, despite reportedly saving the state $80 million in Medicaid costs for care of new parents and children.

 2. Oregon pharmacists will be able to write birth control subscriptions

Surprisingly, this bill was led by Republican Representative, Knute Buehler. Buehler says, “It makes no sense that men should have unrestricted access to contraceptives, while women must first get a prescription from their physician.” Women over 18 are able to go straight to their pharmacy counter and get a prescription written. All they have to do is fill-out a twenty-question questionnaire. Women under 18 may get a prescription if they have proof of a past birth control prescription. Best part? The birth control will still be covered by insurance.

 3. Obamacare has saved $1.4 in out-of-pocket birth control costs

 Obamacare has mandated insurance companies cover birth control costs since 2012. Since then, a new report estimates women have saved an average of $255 annually on birth control pills and $248 on intrauterine devices. Costs also dropped for other less common birth control methods. Not all companies are paying up however. There are a few loopholes that allow insurance companies to get out of paying for birth control. 


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