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How Obamacare Impacts Sterilization Procedures

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Sterilization is one option women have for permanent birth control. The different sterilization procedures, both surgical (such as tubal ligation) and non-surgical (such as Essure) block the fallopian tubes to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.

Under Obamacare, access to sterilization has become easier because women with health insurance do not have to pay out of pocket. This means that sterilization might be a good possibility if you are looking for a safe and effective way of preventing pregnancy that cannot be reversed.

Before Obamacare

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, known more commonly as Obamacare, your insurance carrier was not required to pay for sterilization procedures, and every woman had to consult her own plan in order to figure out what was covered, how much money she would have to contribute to the cost, and how to proceed.

Often, individual insurance policies made women pay more than men for similar services. Also, maternity coverage and preventative services such as birth control were made available only with an extra fee.

What Should I know About Sterilization Under Obamacare?

Under Obamacare, all birth control options and all preventative measures designed to safeguard women’s health are covered. This includes sterilization. The law requires all insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved birth control methods without co-pays.

It is now therefore much easier for all women who have ACA plans to consider sterilization as a possibility. No matter which state you’re in or what insurance company you’re with, you can undergo a sterilization procedure at no cost.

Conditions Which Need To Be Met

Most insurance carriers require informed, voluntary consent from a mentally competent woman in order for coverage to be assured. Also, Obamacare carries a religious exemption, so that women who are part of group plans sponsored by religious employers may not be covered, depending on the employer’s views. These conditions also apply to Medicaid, which provides medical services to lower-income families.

You should check with your personal insurance policy to make sure everything is in order. If you think that sterilization may be the birth control route you wish to take, cost will not be a hindrance under the ACA. As long as your OB/GYN takes your insurance, you will be covered.

Be sure to consult your doctor about whether or not either the surgical or non-surgical options are right for you. Obamacare’s mandate means that you can make a decision about sterilization based on your personal health issues, your living circumstances, and your desires rather than cost.