Statement from The National Campaign On HHS Updated Women's Preventative Services Guidelines

Dec 21 2016

(Washington, DC) —The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy commends the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the updated Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines issued yesterday. The National Campaign affirms and agrees with the panel that the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods for women must be covered without co-pays or deductibles. 

The guidelines, developed by an expert panel convened by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), are part of a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires that private insurance plans cover recommended preventive services for women without any patient cost-sharing.

“These updated guidelines affirm what we know to be true—contraception is basic women’s health care and should be covered without co-pays or deductibles,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of The National Campaign.  “Medical experts agree with women themselves, contraception is not controversial.”   

In fact, we know that everyone loves birth control and that 81% of adults (including 70% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats) agree that birth control is a basic part of women’s health care, and 77% of Americans (67% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats) agree that more people would use birth control if they had easier access to it, according to a survey commissioned by The National Campaign.  In addition, a new survey conducted by WebMD/Medscape found that 87% of consumers believe healthcare plans should cover birth control and even among those that support full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 85% believe all healthcare plans should cover preventive services with no copayment.

It is currently estimated that 55 million women benefit from no-cost women’s preventive services.  Women have saved at least $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for birth control pills alone since the benefit went into effect, and there is evidence that the provision is increasing the ability to obtain more effective contraception for those who want it.

“Birth control has given millions of women the opportunity to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant as well as opening up the doors of opportunity in the process, all while helping to save money and reduce abortion,” Ehrlich said. We urge the incoming Administration to support these popular and evidence-based guidelines” 

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy.