The number of women who can obtain birth control without an additional co-pay has increased 25 percent under Obamacare, according to a study from the Guttmacher Insitute.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the number of women able to obtain birth control pills with no out-of-pocket cost will jump from 15 to 40 percent. The number of women who will be able to obtain a vaginal ring with no co-pay will increase from 23 percent to 52 percent.
The study surveyed women aged 18 to 39 and compared responses from fall 2012 and spring 2013, when contraceptive coverage under Obamacare went into effect.
“Our analysis provides the first quantitative evidence that the cost-sharing protection under the ACA is indeed working as intended,” the study’s lead author, Lawrence B. Finer, said in a statement. “Large numbers of women who couldn’t previously do so are now obtaining birth control without co-pays or deductibles, which allows them to more easily attain contraception’s well-documented health, social and economic benefits.”
According to researchers, the data is evidence that there is a high demand for affordable birth control among U.S. women.
“That the benefits for pill and ring users have accrued so rapidly is remarkable, showing that the contraceptive coverage guarantee is meeting a real demand," said Adam Sonfield, senior public policy associate at Guttmacher and study co-author. "And the ACA's impact is certain to grow significantly as its protections, including for contraceptive coverage without out-of-pocket costs, are phased in across the country. The number of covered workers enrolled in 'grandfathered' plans—existing plans given a temporary reprieve from many of the ACA's new rules—has been declining rapidly, as Congress intended, from 48 percent in 2012 to 36 percent in 2013."
Employers, however, are awaiting a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court on whether businesses can deny contraceptive coverage to women if they feel it is against religious belief.