Poll: Free Birth Control for all MilSpouses, Troops?


If you're a military spouse or female service member, accessing birth control can be expensive, depending on what brand or type you want to use. But a few lawmakers are trying to change that.

Right now birth control is covered by Tricare like any other medication. Active duty users receive all medication for free regardless of where it is purchased. For dependents and generics are free if you are receiving them from a military pharmacy or via the mail order system and $8 for a one month supply at an off-base pharmacy. Name-brand drugs are also free at the military pharmacy, but cost $20 for a one-month supply off base and $16 by mail. Non-formulary birth control drugs (like Loestrin 24 FE or Lo Loestrin FE) are not covered in person or at military pharmacies -- but can be received by mail at $46 for a three month supply. Tricare also covers sterilization surgery like vasectomies and tubal ligation ("tube tying").

The sticky point here, however, is that not ALL birth control is covered -- and some of what is costs. Pills that are only available, for example, as name brands that aren't included on Tricare's OK list are really pricey. Lawmakers want to change that.

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, requires insurance companies to cover at no cost all birth control that might be prescribed by a doctor (but doesn't require them to cover vasectomies). The proposed law looks to bring Tricare, which is exempt from the ACA, in line with that.

But we want to know -- What do you think? Should prescription birth control medication be free to Tricare users?


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