Justice

How Your Birth Control Costs Could Change Under Donald Trump

Since President-elect Donald Trump's victory, many women have expressed concern on social media that their birth control access will be compromised under his presidency.

Birth Control Pills

They are worried because Trump said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during his campaign. And while he's recently shown interest in keeping some provisions of what is colloquially known as "Obamacare" (as shown on his president-elect website), it is unclear if the provision that mandates that women's preventive healthcare be covered — which the Obama administration said includes birth control, according to Vox — will make the cut.

Trump's running mate Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, has also waged a war on women's health service Planned Parenthood.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) said that repealing the ACA is a "pretty high item on [Congress'] agenda," according to Reuters.

Speaking on to CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Nation" earlier this month, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) refused to address the fate of birth control services if Obamacare is repealed. Trump has previously stated that he supports the freedom to access birth control without a prescription. ATTN: reached out to Trump's campaign for further comment on the future of birth control access under his administration and will update this piece if we hear back.

There is a lot of fear among women that their birth control could start costing them a lot of money if the law does change dramatically.

Under the ACA, FDA-approved contraceptives such as the birth control pill and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are covered without a co-pay or co-insurance for in-network providers.

Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, the chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told ATTN: in an email statement that without insurance, "out-of-pocket costs for IUDs can range from $500 to $1,000, which can be a major barrier for some women."

 

Antacids Birth Control Benadryl

ATTN: has reached out to CVS and Walgreens regarding out-of-pocket costs for multiple forms of birth control and will update this piece if we hear back.

McDonald-Mosley told ATTN: in a written statement that Planned Parenthood has been bombarded with questions about women's healthcare access since the election:

"Since the election, we have seen an unprecedented surge in questions about access to health care and birth control, both online and in our health centers. In the first week after the election, Planned Parenthood saw a significant increase in appointments for birth control, with a nearly ten-fold increase in people seeking IUDs -- and we continue to see higher than average numbers. These spikes illustrate just how important the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit has been for women to access the birth control method of their choice."

She also added in her statement that Planned Parenthood has also seen a jump in IUD interest following the implementation of the ACA. "We have seen an increase in IUDs over the last few years thanks to the Affordable Care Act and growing public awareness of their safety and efficacy, and we expect that trend to continue," she wrote. "Planned Parenthood health centers nationally have seen the total number of patients using IUDs increase 91 percent over the last five years."

IUD

IUDs are devices inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Some IUDs are effective for three years while others can be effective for up to ten years. Some people have encouraged women to get IUDs while the ACA is still effective so that the IUDs can potentially last until Trump is out of office:

"Getting an IUD now — right now — is a simple move that can at least get a lady who isn’t ready to be a mother through the next legislative term as unpregnant as possible," journalist Erin Gloria Ryan wrote in a November 2 piece for The Daily Beast. "After all, access to low-cost birth control isn’t guaranteed. No matter what happens after the new batch of elected officials are sworn in, the only guarantee is that the way things are now is going to change."

Will the ACA be overturned?

It's unclear whether there can be a full repeal of the ACA with only 51 Republican seats in the Senate, and former acting General Counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Barker told Time's Money Magazine that a full repeal seems unlikely because it would disrupt the entire health industry.

Anyone who signed up for one-year plans this past November 1 for open enrollment probably won't have their plans canceled, according to Dr. Mario Molina, the CEO of Molina Healthcare. Dr. Molina told Reuters that Trump would likely face legal challenges trying to cancel these plans before the end of their one-year contract.

"Any changes they make will have to be on a prospective basis to begin in 2018," Dr. Molina said.

Steve Arendt, an assistant professor of Pacific University Oregon's School of Pharmacy, told ATTN: over the phone that he believes it is "unlikely" that the ACA will be overhauled. Arendt told ATTN: over the phone that he doesn't think people should be worried about birth control access now, but that they should pay attention to the legislative process throughout Trump's presidency in case any momentum builds in favor of scrapping the ACA.

"If the momentum builds to change this benefit, then revisit this plan and ask your question at that time, if it occurs at all, which, as I said [previously], I think is unlikely," Arendt said. "Then it's going to take a very long time, I'm thinking years, for changes to take place. At least a year, maybe two or three, so do nothing different now and pay attention to the legislative process because it will definitely be a very high profile, highly publicized process."