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Statement by President of National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association on IOM Family Planning Recommendations

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 Indian Health News J E 4

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Statement by Clare Coleman, President & CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), on the Institute of Medicine's recommendation that contraceptives and family planning services be covered as preventive services under the Affordable Care Act.  NFPRHA represents administrators and clinicians in publicly supported family planning programs throughout the country.  

Today's recommendations by the Institute of Medicine are a clear win for American women and recognize that women's reproductive health is central to their overall good health.

The Institute of Medicine's recommendations that "the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity" and "[a]t least one well-woman preventive care visit annually for adult women" should be covered are anchored in overwhelming scientific and public health evidence, and effectively deal with one of the most daunting barriers women face in family planning: cost. 

For many women who will seek to purchase a new health insurance plan and are struggling to make ends meet in these tough economic times, news that contraceptives and family planning services will be covered without co-payments, deductibles or other cost-sharing requirements is especially welcome.  Contraceptives can cost women an average of $60 per month.   When you add in the cost of the health center visit, it can impact not only her wallet, but how and whether she uses family planning.

I urge the Department of Health and Human Services to accept the IOM's recommendations in its final set of guidelines for women's preventive care under the Affordable Care Act so that all women can achieve good health.

At this same time, it is critical that Congress fully fund Title X, the federal program that supports a network of family planning providers serving patients at all income levels, and that the federal and state governments maintain programs for reproductive health services under Medicaid.

NFPRHA represents more than 400 institutions including state, county and local health and social service departments; family planning councils that receive and distribute federal funds to other health service providers; Planned Parenthood health systems; independent free-standing clinics; hospital-based clinics; federally qualified health centers and other health care providers.  For 40 years, NFPRHA members have provided high-quality preventive health care services in thousands of health centers to millions of women and men annually. Everyday NFPRHA's members help people act responsibly, stay healthy and plan for strong families.

SOURCE National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

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