If Republicans succeed in their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, our current era of affordable birth control will likely end. The ACA requires insurers to fully cover the cost of contraception and preventive health care like cancer screenings, making them free to all insured patients.
Senate Republicans have indicated that they hold no part of the ACA sacred, even the popular provisions that guarantee maternity care coverage and no-cost contraception. Last week, they shot down an amendment that would have protected both. That means a lot of people who currently get birth control for free may soon have to pay out of pocket for some or all of the costs. Preventive services like routine mammograms also stand to get a lot more expensive.
The exact amount charged to the patient will vary based on her insurance plan, but doctor-database site Amino has mapped out the median network rate estimates (that is, the rate an insurance company negotiates with providers on behalf of patients) for intrauterine devices and mammograms in all 50 states and D.C. The report notes that since 51 percent of workers with private insurance have an annual deductible of at least $1,000, patients could conceivably be on the hook for most or all or most of the cost of these services if the ACA goes away.