Problem

Inadequate insurance against pregnancy

Other Names:
Failure to insure birth control costs
Inequities in medical insurance coverage for contraception
Nature:
Birth control pill costs are not covered by many health insurers, who prefer to pay for medically necessary treatments of existing illness, rather than for preventive or precautionary measures for avoiding potential medical costs later. Consequently, American women during their childbearing years pay 68% more than men in out-of-pocket medical expenses, as women buy the Pill. Many poorer women have unwanted pregnancies because they cannot afford to pay for the Pill. Governments in some countries have realized that it saves money to subsidize birth control costs, particularly for teenagers.
Incidence:
In 1998 one third of American private health insurance agencies did not cover the cost of birth control pills, and half offered no coverage at all for contraception. This contrasts with the fact that 97% of these agencies covered the costs of other prescription drugs, and 85% of them pay for sterilizations.
Claim:
In the USA in 1998 it cost $300 a year for a prescription of the Pill, whereas a live birth cost $4000. It should be in the financial interests of the insurance companies to cover the cost of the Pill, rather than paying for a birth later.
Related Problems:
Ignorance of contraception
Problem Type:
G: Very specific problems
Date of last update
11.05.2000 – 00:00 CEST