Access to affordable birth control is a necessity for so many women. It's vital in family planning, ensuring that women who don't wish to get pregnant are able to do so. The great thing about modern birth control is that there are options for women to choose from — such as the pill or an implanted device like an IUD. But what if Trumpcare, formally known as the American Health Care Act, becomes law? Many are already concerned about their access to affordable contraceptives. This brings up a vital question — will IUDs be covered under the AHCA?
Currently, under Obamacare, all plans must cover contraceptive methods for women without charging a copay. Almost all forms of birth control, including IUDs are free of cost, according to Parenting, with exception of those seeing an out of network doctor or choosing a name-brand contraceptive that is not covered by your insurance policy. It's a pretty wonderful thing. Yet, it might not be free forever. According to ThinkProgress, the AHCA will allow states the right to waive essential health benefits, which includes the right to waive birth control coverage.
Luckily, some state legislators in New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are trying to protect the right to free birth control, according to ThinkProgress. This will allow people to continue to have access to obtaining an IUD without having to pay out of pocket costs.
Compounding people's fears is the fact that Trumpcare will ultimately cut off the funding to Planned Parenthood, barring women from receiving free birth control or family planning services. Out of pocket costs can be expensive — according to Planned Parenthood, just one IUD can cost a woman up to $1,000. Trumpcare will also phase out Medicaid expansion, which could leave lower-income women without coverage or access to birth control in their plan. The Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the first draft of the AHCA estimated that 15 percent of low income communities would not have the ability to obtain birth control.
In the grand scheme of things, IUDs are not the most popular birth control form of choice — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 7.2 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 currently use an IUD. But according to Time, IUDs have only gotten more popular in the past few years, for a number of reasons.
With the future of IUD coverage in questionable hands, it is important to note that IUDs are effective for anywhere from 3 to 12 years — which is hopefully long enough to see a change in the White House. The long lasting power of an IUD is why many women rushed to get an IUD after Trump was elected, after all. Still, no one knows what the state of their health insurance will be once their IUD is ready to be replaced. It's much safer to figure things out now, rather than having to pick apart a health care mess later on.