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Research Letter
June 25, 2014

Attitudes About Mandated Coverage of Birth Control Medication and Other Health Benefits in a US National Sample

Author Affiliations
  • 1Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2014;311(24):2539-2541. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4766

Access to contraception improves maternal and child health.1 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. However, debate continues about applying the contraception coverage mandate to public corporations that object on religious grounds2,3; the US Supreme Court is reviewing the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement. We assessed attitudes about mandated coverage of birth control medications.

A cross-sectional survey was administered in November 2013. The survey used the online KnowledgePanel (GfK Custom Research North America), a national panel established through probability sampling of the civilian, noninstitutionalized US population (aged ≥18 years). Respondents were asked, “Do you think that all health plans in the United States should be required to include coverage for the following services: birth control medications, preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies, recommended vaccinations, preventive screening tests for diabetes and high cholesterol, mental health care, and dental/tooth care including dental screenings and tooth problems?” Possible responses included yes, no, uncertain, and refused to answer. The response rate was determined using RR1 of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.