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The Cost of Contraception in Insurance Plans: What the Data Say

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Written by Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services examined the issue of just how much it costs insurance companies to cover contraception. Based on data from a wide range of peer-reviewed medical and public health data, evidence-based research and actuarial studies as well as prior experience with insurance policies in which contraception is covered without a co-pay, the HHS analysis found that it costs more not to provide contraception than it does to provide it.  HHS concluded:

While the costs of contraceptives for individual women can be substantial and can influence choice of contraceptive methods, available data indicate that providing contraceptive coverage as part of a health insurance benefit does not add to the cost of providing insurance coverage.

HHS guidelines for including contraceptive care and supplies as part of the essential package of primary health care for women were based on this analysis as well as on recommendations to HHS from the Institute of Medicine, which conducted an extensive study, relying on independent physicians, nurses, scientists, and other experts as well as evidence-based research to draw conclusions and formulate its recommendations.

Here, in brief, is what the cost analysis said.

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