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Majority of Americans Want Birth Control Covered in Health Plans

Update Date: Apr 23, 2014 10:45 AM EDT

When it comes to health insurance plans, deciding what kinds of medical care gets coverage can lead to many debates. One of the more controversial topics has been centered on birth control and other contraceptives. In a new survey, researchers polled Americans about many different medical treatments. They found that nearly seven out of every 10 adults want birth control to be covered in healthcare plans.

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to cover contraception without a shared patient cost to improve access," Michelle H. Moniz, MD, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues wrote reported in Medscape. "However, debate continues about applying the contraception coverage mandate to public corporations that object on religious grounds; the US Supreme Court is reviewing the ACA's contraceptive coverage requirement."

For this report, researchers surveyed 2,124 adults in November 2013. When asked if
"health plans in the United States should be required to include coverage [for] birth control medications," 1,452 people, or 69 percent, agreed with the statement. 436 people had disagreed with the statement, 197 were uncertain and 39 had refused to give an answer.

The researchers discovered, unsurprisingly that women were more likely than men to support a mandatory contraception coverage. African Americans, Latinos and parents who had children under 18-years-old were also more likely to support birth control coverage than people form other demographics. The researchers did not ask people about their religious or political views.

Aside from birth control, the survey asked participants about coverage for numerous other procedures. They reported that 85 percent of the adults stated that they would support mandatory coverage for mammograms and colonoscopies. 84 percent wanted coverage for recommended vaccines, 82 percent for screening tests for diabetes and cholesterol, 77 percent for mental health care and 75 percent for dental care.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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