Are oral contraceptives healthcare?

  1. My fiance is very angry to mandate that oral contraceptives should be paid for by health insurance. I feel it is a woman's right, and it is a medication, in additional to medical uses besides preventing pregnancy. But is it a health care issue to prevent pregnancy, like a medication that treats a disease, such as insulin? Or is that beside the point, because it is a choice? It is a useful medication for the personal choice of deciding when and if a woman will conceive. It will save millions of dollars in healthcare for the cost of unwanted deliveries, illnesses during pregnancy, not to mention the savings for raising children, their healthcare and education. Your respectful opinions are appreciated.
  2. Visit cargalrn profile page

    About cargalrn

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 41; Likes: 53


  3. by   PolaBar
    I get confused about a few things with religion and healthcare. I just wonder what kinds of slippery slopes could happen. Could Jehovah's Witnesses insurance programs refuse to pay for blood transfusions? What about epidurals, or any pain relief for women during childbirth, as many religions refer to the pain as punishment for 'original sin'. What about the religions that believe that prayer is the only answer. Should they run a business and refuse to offer any insurance because they believe their god will cure everything?

    I am using a hormonal replacement for a medical problem (PCOS) that is relatively common among women. Chances are, without fertility treatments, I couldn't get pregnant. My treatment for PCOS is birth control (I use Mirena, an IUD that releases a progestin hormone). It helps treat the symptoms of my illness. It costs about $800 and lasts up to 5 years. In my opinion, this is a medical device, and not really 'birth-control' as I most likely can't have children. I would be very upset to find that medical treatment was denied to me because someone thinks I'm "having too much sex" with my husband.

    On the "flip side". Insurance doesn't, that I know of, pay for condoms. It may (or may not) pay for other forms of birth control. While I think it should.
  4. by   missladyrn
    Insurance pays for viagra, therefore I think it is only fair to cover BCP. Plus, some people take them for medical reasons and to regulate their cycles, hormones, irregular menstrual cycles. And it is not over the counter. I need to see and MD to get them and they require a prescription then insurance will have to cover it. Otherwise they should be otc.
  5. by   nrsang97
    I totally agree with the two previous posters. I take birth control to replace hormones and to actually have my cycle at all. There are so many other reasons to take birth control other than pregnancy prevention.
  6. by   cayenne06
    BCP are definitely a health care issue. The problem is that morality, ethics and opinion are very hard to tease out of the whole sex/contraceptive debate. So you can talk yourself blue in the face, but if someone believes it is morally wrong to use or provide contraceptives, or if they believe it is an employers' right to make that moral call.... it can be very hard to change their mind. All people, regardless of age or gender, should have access to birth control and comprehensive sex ed, if only for the public health and societal benefits.
  7. by   NP Sam
    I think are a health care issue because there are more than one indication for it. For patients with dysmennorrhea and menorrhagia this is one of the main treatments besides pain control.
  8. by   33762FL
    Health insurance, private and public, has been paying for contraception as healthcare for many years. This is not new, and 30 states already had laws saying that all insurance providers had to cover it. The National Institute of Health (who I'm sure knows better than your boyfriend does) decided that contraception was healthcare years ago. There are numerous reasons to use contraception, including the important fact that allowing women to plan and space out their pregnancies results in healthier women and healthier children. Contraception is covered under health insurance in every modern country.

    No offense but your fiance is either ignorant of the past couple of decades' health policy and/or has some misogynistic ideas. Keep your eyes wide open for other red flags before you bind yourself to him legally and give him a say in your and your future children's healthcare.
  9. by   cargalrn
    We are both divorced and our children are already raised; between the two of us, my three dtrs and his one dtr, are grown women, employed in good careers, college grads and are all probably on birth control. Without it they probably would never be where they are today. Some are choosing not to have children, but may change their minds later. I support oral contraceptives as a necessary healthcare need.
  10. by   MN-Nurse
    Quote from cargalrn
    t will save millions of dollars in healthcare for the cost of unwanted deliveries, illnesses during pregnancy, not to mention the savings for raising children, their healthcare and education. Your respectful opinions are appreciated.
    Don't forget about the massive numbers of abortions prevented by birth control.

    If religious institutions are going to be employers and provide healthcare, then they have to provide healthcare.
  11. by   klone
    Yes, oral contraceptives absolutely are healthcare! Not just for "the other issues" but for BIRTH CONTROL! Yes, employers absolutely should be providing it as part of insurance coverage. I can't believe we, as healthcare providers, even need to debate this issue.
  12. by   Jolie
    How has the human race survived to this point without universal coverage of prescription contraceptives? And why should first dollar payment for this service trump coverage for other services that are immediately life saving, such as trauma care, bypass surgery or cancer treatment?
  13. by   Jolie
    Quote from MN-Nurse
    Don't forget about the massive numbers of abortions prevented by birth control.
    Unfortunately, statistics do not bear this out. The Guttmacher Institute Website indicates that in 1973, the number of abortions per 1000 women ages 15-44 was 16.3. In 2008, despite more varieties of contraception available both RX and OTC, abortions numbered 19.6 per 1000 women.

    This is also an interesting statistic from that website:

    Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use.[8]

    Only 8% of women having abortions report never having used contraception.
  14. by   RNperdiem
    If it requires a doctor's prescription, then it counts as healthcare.

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