Free birth control for women
BATON ROUGE - Beginning next August all private insurance plans in the U. S. will cover preventative services without a deductible or co-pay. That means women will get items like birth control free of charge, including emergency contraception.
This comes as part of the health care overhaul bill, the Affordable Care Act. Along with contraceptive services, private insurance companies can no longer charge a co-pay or deductible for screening for gestational diabetes, breast feeding support and domestic violence screenings.
Dr. Jeffery Breaux says it gives women a chance to stop health problems before they start.
"If women don't have the barrier of cost to go to the doctor to get what they need, it's one less obstacle they have to go through," said Breaux.
The new guidelines also include coverage for the morning after pill, which opponents of the health care overhaul claim is the equivalent to using federal dollars for abortion.
"I think it's awesome, but I'm a little challenged by the birth control because I'm not sure about the message it sends to certain age groups," said Angela Pursley. "I wouldn't be an advocate to allow it for everybody, but I think depending on the circumstances it should be covered."
Most women have private insurance which already covers many of these services. The big question now, for those who don't, is who is going to pick up the extra cost. White House advisors said the decision to raise premiums is ultimately up to insurance companies. Which is something Andrea McKey isn't too found of.
"My personal preference is leave my rates alone, educate me as to why it's important and let me save my own money," she said.
Regardless of who pays, doctors said the good outweighs the bad.
"So that they can be healthier for their families, they can plan their pregnancies more optimally, which will lead to healthier babies, and a healthier population in general," said Breaux.