Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Does Your Insurance Cover?


Many of us were taught at an early age to take charge of our health, our bodies and our minds. That is why many of today’s sexually active women rely on family planning services.  Unfortunately, for so many women the pocketbook gets in the way of making responsible choices when it comes to the use and availability of contraception choices.  Getting on a birth control pill, the patch, an IUD or any other female form of birth control involves visiting a healthcare provider.  Even if you have insurance, contraception and family planning services may not be covered. 

Under the The Affordable Care Act, insured women are meant to have better coverage and access to  preventive services including birth control.  Not necessarily. Recently, a friend of mine found out that her policy does not and will not cover contraception.  During a recent visit to get birth control services for her college-aged daughters, who are covered under her plan, she was told that despite having insurance there was no form of contraception that would be covered.  She was confused.  How is better and more affordable access possible if your plan denies coverage?

Upon further research, my friend discovered that because her insurance provider, through her spouse’s employment, was faith based they were exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement.  In fact, any plan sponsored by certain religious employers or group health insurance in connection with such plans, do not have to cover contraceptive services.  So with health insurance that doesn’t cover contraception, my friend and many others are left wondering how best to take care of their and their children’s reproductive health needs.

Fortunately, Jefferson County Public Health does provide family planning services, including contraception to individuals regardless of race, religion, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or marital status.  All services are confidential and fees are based on your ability to pay- no one will be denied services for inability to pay. 

Calling your insurance company to find out whether or not you are covered is the first step when it comes to taking charge of your reproductive health.  If you find that you are not covered, rest assured that Jefferson County Public Health can help.  For more information on Jefferson County Public Health clinic and other services, please call 303-232-6301.

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