Would expand birth control access by allowing women to pick up year-long contraceptive supply
DENVER – Today a Colorado State House committee took a bipartisan 9-4 vote in support of a bill that would ensure better access to contraceptives for women. The bill, HB 16-1322 “Health Coverage Prescription Contraceptives Supply,” would require that private health plans allow women to pick up 12 months of their monthly prescription birth control or the remainder of their prescription as covered by their individual plan.
“This bill provides for more reliable birth control for women by providing them a longer-term supply of contraceptives already covered by their plan,” said Adam Fox, Director of Strategic Engagement. “This reduces the risk of unintended pregnancy from missing a dose or having a gap without contraceptives.”
This risk especially impacts low and middle-income women, women living in rural communities, those working unpredictable work hours and others who have difficulty getting to a pharmacy. Dispensing a one-year supply of birth control at a time is associated with a 30% reduction in the odds of an unintended pregnancy compared with a 30 or 90 day supply.
“Having to go to the pharmacy to drop off a prescription then return to pick up a pack of birth control 13 times a year is time-consuming but that’s what my insurance company required. Sometimes it meant I was at risk of taking a pill late,” said Meghan Nutting, a Denver area resident. “But when I was able to get a 12-month supply at the campus health center when I was in graduate school, it was amazing that I could put my energy wholeheartedly into my school work, not getting to the drug store every few weeks.”
Safe and reliable contraception is an essential part of women’s personal health; this bill would significantly improve birth control access for Colorado women.
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative represents 50+ Colorado organizations and individual members representing more than 500,000 Colorado consumers, advocating for access to quality, affordable, and equitable health care for all Coloradans.