Birth control may become more accessible and affordable for college students in the US in the near future. The Obama administration's legislation on preventative care in health insurance intends to do just that, as it covers birth control pills, sterilization, and the morning after pill without co-pay, through work insurance.
But does this necessarily mean that birth control will be absolutely free for students who have health insurance? Well, it is a 50-50 situation as the final federal regulations that govern student health insurance programs have not yet been released. These regulations will help determine what will be covered by student health insurance programs in the future.
Currently, some American colleges, like Washington University provide contraception though a co-pay system. Oral contraceptive pills are available through the University at a cost as low as $20 and male condoms are available for free. Saint Louis University, on the other hand, being a Jesuit institution, does not provide or prescribe contraception.
If the final federal regulations in the matter decide in the interest of the students, then Catholic educational institutions, including universities, will be required to include contraception in their insurance coverage.
Churches are given some special privileges under the new policy as the Roman Catholic Church petitioned for broader exemption from coverage for catholic organizations such as hospitals and universities. After listening to appeals from the church and family planning organizations, Obama rejected the claims. These institutions will be given an extra year to implement the new regulations.