Access to comprehensive family planning is an integral component of women’s health care. ACOG believes all women should have unhindered and affordable access to all FDA-approved contraceptives.
ACOG advocates for patient access to contraception without cost-sharing, access to FDA-approved contraceptives over-the-counter without additional barriers, continued patient access to qualified providers, and access to care for low-income women and adolescents at Title X-funded facilities.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 62 million women with private insurance gained coverage of women’s preventive services with no cost-sharing, including contraception. This contraceptive coverage expansion resulted in women saving $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in one year.
ACOG advocates for continued access to coverage of all FDA-approved methods without cost-sharing for our patients and supports legislation that guarantees insurance coverage of prescription oral contraceptives can be dispensed at one time rather than at a one- to three-month intervals.
Over-the-Counter Access to Contraception
ACOG supports over-the-counter (OTC) access to oral contraception, without the need for a physician’s or pharmacist’s prescription. However, OTC contraception is not an acceptable substitute for the Affordable Care Act’s coverage of contraception without cost-sharing.
Further, it is important to note that there is currently no FDA-approved oral contraceptive for OTC sales, and efforts to make contraception behind-the-counter is not OTC. These policies replace one barrier (a physician’s prescription) for another (a pharmacist).
ACOG supports FDA approval of an OTC oral contraceptive and looks forward to advocating for true OTC access and coverage.