Starting now, your birth control is free (thanks, Obamacare!)

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Thank you but your baby is in another uterus.

It’s August 1st, what are you doing? 1) Moving into a new apartment; 2) Pre-emptively mourning the end of summer, in which case, relax, there are still 51 days left; 3. Getting free birth control? If you answered one or two, good luck holding onto the screws for your IKEA bed. If you think No. 3 is too good to be true, it’s not.

Today marks the roll-out day for a new mandate requiring individual or employer-based insurance plans (you uninsureds are still out of luck) to offer contraceptive coverage without a co-pay. That means if you sign or renew a health insurance policy after today, your birth control is now free, along with a bunch of other things that are now free, including mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer and prenatal care.

Women who purchase new plans will see the act in effect starting today. Anyone with existing insurance will be moved into to a co-pay-free plan whenever their insurance is renewed (Aug. 1, for many employers).

If you are uninsured, you’ll still have to pay out of pocket (socialism isn’t quite here yet). So, ok, it might not be “free” in the Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day sense, since you still are paying your insurance  but there’s still good reason to cheer. One, the huge number — 55 percent of all American women — who struggle to keep up with the monthly costs of birth control pills will have a better go of it.

And the decision to plan a family (and your life, in general), or to treat or prevent migraines, ovarian cysts and endometriosis won’t cost you an extra $500-$1,100 a year, as though it’s an add-on to a pedicure at some luxury spa. I know it’s crazy, but not all things just fall out of the sky like cars or suits from Brooks Brothers do! Unless your name is Romney, of course.

In other words: Happy Affordable Care Day, everyone!

Follow Karina: @karinabthatsme.

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  1. What about the women who cant afford health insurance at all? Nothing for them? Nope, just more babies that they can’t afford.

    • steph – Um, yeah, quite a lot for them. About 10 million low-income women will be insured by Medicaid. Other forms of insurance are mandated for the rest, with tools to help everyone pay for it. Insuring the uninsured was sort of the primary point of the whole health care thing… Yikes, I don’t know how else to respond to your comment – use Google?

  2. It’s too bad sick children don’t get free medication when their parents work their butts off, have health insurance, and still have to choose which medications to get for their child. After insurance my child’s (diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis) prescriptions (not including dr visits) cost $3k a month. $36K a year! And you think birth control is expensive! Fertility is not a disease.

  3. Actually, no. The new rules take effect at the next renewal date for your insurance – on or after Aug. 1, 2012. The next time each person’s insurance renews is when the effect will occur. It’s not a set date that everybody gets at the same time.

    -Certified Pharmacy Tech

  4. Oh yeah…because I thought people who were uninsured were still able to receive medications. Thanks for stating the obvious as if we didn’t already know that.

  5. NOTHING IS FREE!! I just called my insurance and they would like to charge me $109 for my BC. There are only a few BC Pills that are cover under the FREE. It is not mine! If I change my pills it will cost me $54 but I can get the $54 one at a retail store for $8 if I tell them I have no insurance. Read the fine line on this Obamacare Plan.

  6. For me, birth control pills are my acne meds so now I get them for free!! :) I just find this funny for some reason since birth control pills aren’t always used for birth control- I mean, they have real medicine names like Apri and OrthoTricyclen- which most people don’t think about.

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