The Costs of Being Female
As a big fan of reproductive health justice, I like to yell and complain about the prices of birth control, abortions, the lack of access to these services and the social implications of all of the above. So you’d think I would have thought about how the general costs of maintaining this lean, mean reproductive machine over a lifetime. But surprise, I didn’t.
Luckily for us, GOOD did! In response to the recent recommendations by the Institute of Medicine that birth control be included in health insurance plans without a copay, they made this great infographic to demonstrate the added costs of birth control, breast cancer/ovarian cancer/cervical cancer screenings, STD testing, pap smears, pregnancies, HPV testing, domestic abuse counseling (thank you GOOD for being just that thorough), and all aspects of healthcare that are specific to people with breasts, and uteri. Here is the introduction they give to the infographic:
“The Institute of Medicine has named eight preventive services that women should get for free under the new health care law. Exactly how much money are we talking about? GOOD took stock of the money spent by a “typical” American woman whose sexual health and life choices correlated with the national averages. Turns out being a woman is pretty pricey.”
And in case you’re wondering exactly what it means that the Institute of Medicine recommended this, and whether it’s really a big deal (trust me, it is), here’s an excerpt from this Politico.com article:
“The experts determined that the full range of FDA-approved contraception, yearly well-woman visits, support for breast feeding, counseling for sexually transmitted infections, and screening and counseling for domestic violence are essential women’s preventive health services and should be covered by health insurers with no co-pays.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover a list of preventive health services, as identified by the Department of Health & Human Services, and provide them with no out-of-pocket expenses for women. Based on the recommendations, HHS is to determine which screenings and services will be included. These new guidelines are historic and will go a long way to protecting and promoting women’s health.”