Facebook Twitter

Contraceptive benefit vital

SHARE Contraceptive benefit vital

If enacted, the Women's Healthcare Parity measure would begin to close an unacceptable gender-based gap in insurance coverage, the failure of employer health benefits plans to cover prescription contraceptives. Making contraceptive drugs and devices affordable and available will increase their use, and that increased use protects a woman's health, improves a baby's chances of survival and makes for stronger families.

The average woman spends half her life using or attempting some form of contraception. Women of reproductive age currently spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health-care costs than men (WREI, 1994). With an annual cost of more than $360 for ordinary oral contraceptives, much of the gender gap in expenses is due to reproductive health-related supplies and services.

For many years, health-care services like prenatal care, mammography and even childhood immunizations were considered nonessential. Now that these services are universally accepted as necessary care, they, too, are fully covered by insurance, saving countless lives every day.

I wholeheartedly support the Women's Healthcare Parity measure because coverage of all prescription contraception empowers women to plan their lives, increasing their own physical and financial stability and creating healthy generations for our future.

Patricia A. MacCubbin

Salt Lake City