Women's Health and Contraception

As part of the Affordable Care Act, starting August 1st, many insurance plans will be required to fully cover contraception without co-pays or deductibles as part of women's preventive care.

Stand up for women's health

This step will help more women to make health care decisions based on what's best for them—not their insurance company—and could save them hundreds of dollars every year.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that certain religious organizations, including churches, will be exempt from paying their insurers to cover contraception.

The President is committed to respecting religious beliefs—both of organizations and their employees—and increasing access to important preventive services.

Stand with President Obama by sharing the facts about his record.

Protecting women's health

Religious employers

Protecting individual religious beliefs

Support for contraceptive coverage

Reducing costs

Standing for religious liberty

Protecting women's health

  • Under the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, women will have access to the care and family planning services they need without worrying about the cost. Women using contraception reduce their risk of developing ovarian and endometrial cancers at about half the rate of the rest of the population.
  • Contraception is used to treat or prevent many health conditions that affect women, including ovarian cysts, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroid tumors, abnormal bleeding, pain associated with ovulation, and anemia. Women who used oral contraceptives are also less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in its more severe forms.

Religious employers

  • Churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the requirement to offer insurance that covers contraception.
  • Other non-profit organizations, like religiously affiliated hospitals and universities that employ or serve people regardless of their faiths, can qualify for a year transition period to prepare for the new law.

Protecting individual religious beliefs

  • No individual health care provider will be forced to prescribe contraception.
  • No one will be forced to buy or use contraception.
  • Drugs such as RU-486 that cause abortion are not covered by this policy. The President remains committed to maintaining strict limits on federal funding for abortions.

Support for contraceptive coverage

  • More than half of all Americans already live in the 28 states that require insurance companies to cover contraception.
  • Most women—including 98 percent of Catholic women—who have had sex have used contraception, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute.
  • Some religiously-affiliated hospitals and universities already provide birth control coverage to their employees
  • A majority of Americans support including coverage in health plans at no cost to women.
  • Health care experts like the American Medical Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend contraception as a preventive service.

Reducing costs

  • This decision will reduce out-of-pocket health costs to women, since many pay between $30 to $50 each month for contraception. That means some women could save up to $600 a year.
  • It will also save employers money. In fact, the National Business Group on Health estimated that it would cost employers 15 to 17 percent more not to provide contraceptive coverage than to provide it.

Standing for religious liberty

The Obama administration's decision to exempt churches from the policy is consistent with the President's record of leading with his values and his faith. In the last three years, his administration has built partnerships with religious groups, provided substantial support to Catholic organizations, and launched numerous non-financial partnerships to promote healthy communities.