(Washington, D.C) Today, the House advanced the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a key provision from the Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act that will help improve access to contraception for non-Active Duty service members and military families. For one year, the provision will require TRICARE—the program that provides health insurance for service members and their families—to cover birth control without copays for non-Active Duty Servicemembers and Dependents. Currently, Active Duty servicemembers, most civilians, and federal employees have health coverage of contraceptive care without cost sharing. Removing cost barriers to contraception is critical to helping individuals and families better plan and space their pregnancies, improve overall health outcomes, and gain financial security.
The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):
“The House has shown its commitment to ensuring that servicemembers and their families can access the birth control they need. We thank Representatives Speier, Escobar, and Strickland for working to remove barriers to birth control access faced by servicemembers and their families, and urge Congress to make sure this provision becomes law. But there is more to be done. We regularly hear from women on our CoverHer hotline who are on TRICARE and have challenges accessing birth control, and we know more is needed to ensure full access. We call on Congress to take additional action to improve access to birth control for our servicemembers and their families. ”