The National Women’s Law Center has calculated new 2017 estimates that 62.4 million women have insurance coverage of birth control without out-of-pocket costs as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is approximately seven million more women than the most recent estimates provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in May 2015. This new data is further evidence that the ACA is working and continues to improve the lives of individuals across the country, despite attempts to repeal it and sabotage its implementation.
The ACA requires most health plans to cover a set of preventive services without out-of-pocket costs, including a specific group of preventive services for women, like birth control, well-woman visits, and breastfeeding support and supplies. The birth control benefit is an incredibly popular part of the ACA and is improving women’s health and economic security across the country. Without out-of-pocket costs as a barrier to birth control, some women are able to use prescription birth control for the first time and others are finally able to use more effective, longer-acting – but more expensive – methods of birth control.
Source: NWLC calculations based on U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), 2017 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 2017 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files. *CMS has limited data for these states by demographic group on the number of newly enrolled individuals. A national proxy was used to determine these estimates.
Methodology: Figures are derived by summing the number of non-elderly individuals with ungrandfathered private health coverage, obtained from most recent Census Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), and the number of individuals newly enrolled in marketplace coverage during the most recent open enrollment period (OEP), obtained from CMS open enrollment data.
CPS data on private health insurance coverage are from 2016 and are the most recent data available. This analysis assumes that most individuals who reported private health coverage in 2016 continue to have similar private coverage in 2017. The number of individuals enrolled in ungrandfathered private health plans was estimated from CPS health insurance data, and is based on Kaiser Family Foundation findings that 83 percent with employer based coverage were in ungrandfathered plans that are required to cover recommended preventive services with zero cost sharing. This analysis assumes that the proportion of those in grandfathered plans with any private insurance is the same as those with employment based insurance.
New marketplace enrollment data from the 2017 OEP report were reported by age and gender for only 39 states. Total newly enrolled marketplace figures and figures for men and women include persons over 65 years old, who make up equal to or less than 1% of total marketplace enrollment in most states. In states where new enrollment by age or gender was not reported (CA, CO, CT, DC, ID, MD, MA, MN, NY, RI, WA, WV), NWLC estimated the number of new marketplace enrollments for women, men, and children by multiplying the numbers of newly enrolled persons (reported for all 50 states and D.C.) for these states by their proportion of national new enrollment. For example, women make up 57 percent of all new marketplace enrollments nationally. To estimate new enrollment in California we multiplied the overall number for new marketplace enrollments by 57 percent to get 195,235 women newly enrolled in marketplace plans. This analysis assumes that the proportion of women, men, and children newly enrolled in the marketplace are similar to national averages. However, these estimates may be higher or lower than actual enrollment for women, men or children in those states.