FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2017
Women in Indiana may struggle to find contraceptive care
IFHC president says increased funding needed to fill the gap of ACA contraception coverage loss
Indianapolis, IN, October 6, 2017– Today, the Trump Administration released two new rules that exempt any employer from the contraceptive coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act if the employer claims a religious or moral objection.
This is a roll back to the Obama-era that required employer-provided health insurance policies to cover birth control methods at no cost. While some employers may continue their coverage, there is a potential for millions of women to be left without contraceptive coverage.
In some instances, federally funded Title X clinics may be looked at as an alternative to fill the void. However, Kristin Adams, Indiana Family Health Council (IFHC) president and CEO said Title X has been flat funded, reduced or threatened for elimination over the past eight years.
According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, Title X would need approximately $737 million in funding to meet the need for publicly funded family planning care. That study is based on the ACA remaining in place.
Data from 2014 reveals that 340,510 Indiana women with insurance needed publicly supported family planning services. That data also shows that 84,903 women received contraceptive care from publicy supported health centers including 30,660 women served by Title X–supported centers. For teens in 2014, Indiana health centers served 17,000 teenage women, including 6,150 teens served by Title X clinics.
As congress has continued to fund the Title X program at $286.5 million since the 2014 fiscal year, it will take additional investments to meet the reproductive needs of men and women.
“Every patient seen with insurance coverage in our clinics enables us to see additional uninsured men and women,” Adams said. In addition, losing contraceptive coverage could cause a blow to some of the maternal-child and reproductive issues Indiana has struggled with over the years.
“The greatest impact we foresee for Indiana will be increased teen pregnancy rates, increased unintended pregnancy rates, increased Medicaid-funded births and potentially increased abortion rates,” Adams said. Statistics such as the teen pregnancy rate have been declining in large part due to increased access to effective contraceptive methods afforded through the ACA.
She continued, “Men and women who are able to plan for their families improve their health outcomes, public health outcomes like reducing infant mortality and maternal health, while also impacting Indiana’s overall economic health.”
Indiana Family Health Council is a private, not-for-profit organization that funds 35 reproductive health clinics across the state to make healthcare and education available and accessible to all women, men and teens in Indiana, no matter insurance coverage or income level. Of these clinics, 30 are open to the public.