WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI) and Debbie Stabenow (MI) joined 46 of their Senate colleagues in urging the Biden Administration to require federally and state-regulated health insurance plans to fully cover over-the-counter contraceptives, including Opill—the first-ever FDA-approved over-the-counter birth control pill, which will become available in early 2024—with no copays or out of pocket costs, and without a prescription requirement.
“We urge you to improve health insurance coverage, both public and private, of the full range of FDA-approved, granted, or cleared contraceptive products—including birth control that is available over-the-counter (OTC) without requiring a prescription for coverage,” the senators wrote in their letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and the Department of Labor Acting Secretary Julie Su. “Over 19 million women live in counties with limited access to health care providers that offer comprehensive contraceptive services, and about one-third of women who have received prescription contraceptives have reported barriers to access. Expanding access to affordable coverage for eligible, uninsured populations would improve the quality of contraceptive care that patients receive.”
“The availability of safe and effective OTC birth control products has enormous potential to help people overcome significant barriers to consistent contraceptive use, including the many logistical and financial challenges to obtaining a prescription. The FDA’s approval of Opill is a milestone; however, for an OTC birth control pill to meet its potential and be truly accessible, federal departments must ensure that it is covered without cost-sharing and without the need for a prescription as a condition of coverage,” the senators continued. “Given the increased need for access to contraception in the wake of the Dobbs decision, this issue is incredibly timely and important.”
Text of the letter can be found here.