For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Washington, DC — Overnight, the House Armed Services Committee passed the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4350). This bill included a provision to ensure that everyone enrolled in TRICARE has coverage of contraceptive care without cost-sharing.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“We are grateful to the champions on this committee who fought to expand access to contraceptive care for members of our military and their families. With reproductive freedom under attack like never before, it is more urgent than ever that our lawmakers take bold action to safeguard and expand access to care and ensure every body has the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives, bodies, and futures.”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most group and individual health insurance plans to cover FDA-approved methods of women’s contraception without co-pays or other cost-sharing, however that benefit does not extend to many people who are covered under TRICARE. This provision, added to the bill by U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), would ensure that everyone covered by TRICARE can access the method of contraception that is right for them, without cost-sharing.
Rep. Speier’s amendment was based on a provision in the standalone bill: The Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2021. This bill would eliminate cost-sharing for contraceptives obtained via mail-order pharmacy and the TRICARE retail pharmacy and codify regulations to ensure that sexual assault survivors who seek care have information about and access to emergency contraception. It would also standardize family planning education across military branches so that all service members have the information they need to plan their families and make the best decisions for their lives and futures.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support safe, legal abortion.