from the inbox:
Today, marks the one-year anniversary of the women’s health provision in the Affordable Care Act that includes birth control with no co-pay. This anniversary comes just days after the Guttmacher Institute released new data showing the cost-savings associated with publicly-supported birth control. According to Guttmacher, taxpayers save $5.68 for every dollar spent on birth control - almost $2 more in savings than previous studies have shown.
“We know that having a broad range of effective birth control available to women helps them determine if and when they are ready to have a family,” said Melissa Weiler Gerber, executive director of Family Planning Council. “The freedom to decide when to have children and to safely space pregnancies improves the quality of life for women and families and thus reduces overall health care costs.”
The report points to the success of programs like the federally-funded Title X Family Planning Program which supports reproductive health services for low-income women, men, and teens. Nationwide, in 2010, Title X clinics provided birth control services that helped prevent roughly 1.2 million unintended pregnancies. According to the study, without Title X services, the nationwide unintended pregnancy rate would be 35% higher.
Family Planning Council oversees a network of Title X Family Planning provider agencies serving over 125,000 low-income women, men, and teens annually throughout the five-county southeastern Pennsylvania region. Providers include the area's major teaching hospitals, Planned Parenthood affiliates, federally funded community health centers, and the Philadelphia Department of Health.
In late June, Family Planning Council was awarded a three-year $15.7 million Title X Family Planning grant to continue providing reproductive health services throughout Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. In 2010, Pennsylvania's Title X program investment of $45 million led to an estimated cost savings of $232 million - $5.15 for each Title X dollar spent. Using these figures, net public savings from Family Planning Council's new $15.7 million grant is likely to be an estimated $81 million.
“There is no denying how beneficial these programs are,” said Weiler Gerber. “With the preventive health provision in the Affordable Care Act and public funding for birth control, women can focus on providing for their families or planning their future instead of deciding between paying for birth control or putting food on the table.”
Family Planning Council advances sexual and reproductive health outcomes to promote health equity for individuals, families and communities. For more information about Family Planning Council programs, visit www.familyplanning.org, @famplancouncil on Twitter , and on Facebook.