Free Contraceptive Policy For Women Begins Today
(Memphis) Starting today, insurance plans must provide women contraceptives and other preventive health care services for free.
It’s part of the new health care reform plan, but some of those involved in providing these kind of services are still waiting to find out how it will all work.
It’s estimated 47 million women are enrolled in health plans that must offer the new benefits for free, but because it’s so new, some health care professionals are still in dark as to how it will work.
“A lot of people need birth control. A lot of people don’t get it because it cost too much or they don’t have insurance,” said Kimberly Johnson.
The new health care policy is designed to make health care easier for women to get.
Insurance companies must provide contraceptives, breast-feeding supplies, screenings for sexually transmitted disease and domestic violence counseling without you having to pay a penny.
“They would have access and a lot of people don’t have access to health care for whatever reason,” said Nona Dodson.
“We get faxes and mail everyday saying there’s going to be a change today,” said Dr. Charles Smith, Wiles-Smith Drug Store.
Dr. Charles Smith owns the Union Avenue store in Memphis which is one of the few small family run pharmacies left in the area.
Smith worries that while you save money, it could put pharmacies like his out of business.
He doesn’t know if the insurance companies will allow local pharmacists to fill the orders for items like contraceptives or if they’ll require mail orders.
Some of the biggest retailers are affiliated with drug companies who make the contraceptives women use.
Smith said, “They are going to make money on selling it. They’re going to set the price on it and they’re going to sell it to the big people who can buy more volume than I can.”
The change goes into effect whenever you’re health plan re-news for the year.