More covered by private insurance get free birth control under law
WASHINGTON — More than half of privately insured women are getting free birth control under President Obama's health law, a major coverage shift that's likely to advance.
This week, the Supreme Court allowed some employers with religious scruples to opt out, but most companies appear to be going in the opposite direction.
Recent data from the IMS Institute document a sharp change during 2013. The share of privately insured women who got their birth control pills without a copayment jumped to 56 percent, from 14 percent in 2012. The law's requirement that most health plans cover birth control as prevention, at no additional cost to women, took full effect in 2013.
The average annual saving for women was $269. “It's a big number,” said institute director Michael Kleinrock. The institute is the research arm of IMS Health, a Connecticut-based technology company that uses pharmacy records to track prescription drug sales.
The core of Obama's law — taxpayer-subsidized coverage for the uninsured — benefits a relatively small share of Americans. But free preventive care — from flu shots to colonoscopies — is a dividend of sorts for the majority with employer coverage.
Business groups and employee benefits consultants say they see little chance that employers will roll back contraceptive coverage as a result of the Supreme Court ruling. The court carved out a space for “closely held” companies whose owners object on religious grounds. Most companies don't fit that niche.
“I don't think you will see a broad impact,” said Neil Trautwein, the top employee benefits expert for the National Retail Federation. “It's a commonly offered benefit for many employers, including retailers.”
The court decision involved “a very unique set of facts,” Trautwein added.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B
- Law enforcement, intelligence agencies want to ‘like’ you on social media
- Lawmakers say answering Census survey should be voluntary
- Cellphone users can soon declare freedom from wireless carriers
- U.S. coal exports undermine clean air efforts, experts say
- U.S. coal exports undermine energy efforts, experts say
- Stoned volunteers test drug, alcohol effect on driving
- Virginia company targets military, families
- Tentative deal reached on VA reforms
- U.N. school in Gaza shelled; 15 Palestinian civilians killed, many children wounded
- Gun advocates chalk up 2nd win this year with D.C. ruling