A majority of women remain unaware that birth control is available for free from health insurance plans under Obamacare—even as the Supreme Court is likely to soon consider legal fights over that law.
And while lack of awareness about the so-called "contraception mandate" might reflect overall, widespread confusion about Obamacare's details, an expert who has been following the issue said it also reflects the fact that pharmaceutical companies aren't advertising the fact that their contraceptives could be effectively obtained free by many women.
That expert, Kristen McNeill, has tracked women's knowledge of the contraception mandate for more than a year for her company, Phoenix Marketing International, which has a health-care division.
Three separate surveys by Phoenix earlier this year found that less than 50 percent of women ages 18 to 45 knew that the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance plans to provide contraceptives without out-of-pocket payments to women for birth control methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
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The percentage of women who knew contraception such as birth-control pills, diaphragms, IUDs, vaginal rings and progestin injections would be free was 44 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and 45 percent in the second quarter—a statistically insignificant difference, McNeill noted. Each survey questioned more than 3,000 women.
But a Phoenix survey done in the third quarter of this year found that awareness "is going up significantly," McNeill said.
In that quarter, 48 percent of the 3,000 women surveyed said they knew birth control was available from health insurance plans without them having to make an out-of-pocket payment for it.