Viagra is Covered by Health Insurance but, Birth Control is Not?

Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone who was provided with an employer given health insurance plan received coverage on birth control as a preventative service. Now, under the Trump administration, the US Department of Health and Human Services has stated that there is an exemption from the contraception coverage mandate for religious beliefs. Viagra and similar medications are still covered on most plans.

Views on Viagra v. Birth Control 

What Health Care Providers likes to argue is that Viagra is covered on insurance plans because it treats a medical condition. As opposed to contraception, which is viewed as a lifestyle drug and is not medically necessary. 

Also, for women to get birth control, a prescription is required, and a woman must see a doctor. While with Viagra and similar products, a man can receive it over the counter without a prescription. It is also easy for men to get illegal erectile dysfunction medication on the internet or from countries where it is legal. 

The Health Care System makes it harder for women to get birth control than it is for men to buy Viagra. 

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

The Green’s, who founded Hobby Lobby, are devout Christians who want to operate their company with similar principles as the Bible. The Green’s felt that the contraception mandate violated their faith and how the couple wanted to run their business. 

On June 30, 2014, the Green’s won the case because of their right of religious freedom; the family-owned business does not lose that right in the workplace. 

However, Hobby Lobby continues to cover Viagra and Vasectomies for male employees in their health insurance plan. 

Why Women need to fight Back 

Women need to care about this because these laws are discriminating women and are sexist. It also puts a significant financial burden on women, which will affect women’s chances to become more successful. 

Out-of-Pocket contraception costs between $15 to $50 per month, which can add up to over $600 a year for just one woman. That is just the minimum; IUD implants can cost up to $1,300, and a vaginal ring can cost up to $200 a month. These costs do not include doctor appointments or check-ups either. 

Women first get their periods between ages 11-16 on average, meaning a girl in middle school can get pregnant if they are uneducated or without contraception. If a girl has a child that young, her likelihood of finishing high school or going to college drops. 

When a young mother is unable to find a good-paying job and has a child to support, these difficulties cause a financial burden on the family. Also, it limits the mother’s opportunities in life to become successful. Most women today use birth control to finish school and have a successful career before having a family to ensure a high quality of life for herself and her family. 

The Bottom Line 

For women to receive the right to contraception coverage in all health insurance plans, women must stick together and take action. Planned Parenthood has a petition anyone can sign to keep birth control affordable for all people.