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After Obamacare, two-thirds of insured women now get their birth control pills free


The number of privately-insured women getting no-cost birth control pills has more than quadrupled under Obamacare, new data from the Guttmacher Institute shows.

The new research, published in the journal Contraception, shows the percent of privately-insured women who paid nothing for the pill rose from 15 percent in the fall of 2012 up to 67 percent this spring.

birth control free

Women using less popular forms of contraception, like injectables or the ring, saw similar increases over the same time period.

One obvious question this raises is: why aren't all women getting no-cost birth control? Obamacare's mandate that private insurance plans offer contraceptives without copay took effect in August 2012.

The one-third of women still paying for their birth control are most likely in grandfathered health insurance plans. These are the plans that existed before Obamacare that do not have to comply with the contraceptives mandate (or most other Obamacare requirements, for that matter).

Grandfathered plans are, however, disappearing. When a company significantly changes their insurance (drops a benefit, for example, or changes what enrollees have to pay) then they lose their grandfathered status. Just over a quarter of health insurance plans are currently grandfathered, a number that has steadily dropped since Obamacare passed.

As that figure declines, the number of women accessing no-cost contraceptives will likely continue growing.