Will IUD insertion remain free on my insurance through 2017?
November 16, 2016 10:24 AM   Subscribe

I want to get a Mirena IUD, but I am still losing pregnancy weight and I would rather finish doing that first just in case the IUD makes it harder. Will IUD insertion remain free on my already-purchased insurance plan for 2017?

I have insurance through Covered CA which I have already renewed for 2017. IUD insertion is free on this plan. They can't remove benefits from insurance I have already purchased, right? I know anything can happen for 2018, but it seems like 2017 should be fine?

I would just get one now, but weight loss has already been difficult, so I do not want any extra challenges. I am not currently on hormonal birth control.
posted by insoluble uncertainty to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know the answer to your question, but levongestrel IUDs have no impact on body weight.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 10:28 AM on November 16, 2016

Yes, you should be fine for 2017. Plans are filed and gone through regulatory review, members have already enrolled, and even if changes/repeal of the ACA somehow made it permissible to do so, no insurer is going to be keen on the administrative hassle and PR nightmare of taking away benefits mid-policy and presumably having to do a small premium refund to compensate (source: I'm a health insurance actuary, and my blood pressure is up a bit just thinking about it).

Note: Since you're in California, you'll probably be ok on this after 2017 as well. In 2014, California passed the Contraception Coverage Equity Act that required insurers to cover all 4 of Paragard, Mirena, Skyla, and Liletta, with zero copays, starting 1/1/16. This is stronger than the ACA, which only requires zero copay coverage for Paragard plus one of the other three IUDs (since they're all hormonal).
posted by bassooner at 10:50 AM on November 16, 2016 [10 favorites]

We just started our open enrollment period, and I was assured by our corporate insurance broker that our ACA plan for small businesses was a contract with the insurance company that would remain unchanged through the end of the plan year, no matter what happens.
posted by muddgirl at 10:51 AM on November 16, 2016

Best guess is yes. It would be a huge, huge, huge, (yuge) hassle to repeal ACA with immediate and total effect. So it's possible, but very very very unlikely. (Bigly.)
posted by mchorn at 12:37 PM on November 16, 2016

According to Lifehacker (and I've read this other places as well), birth control coverage is considered vulnerable because it's technically not part of the ACA. ACA just mandades that "women's preventative services" be covered. The new Secretary of Health Human Services can just re-define "women's preventative services" and change coverage.
posted by radioamy at 12:47 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I agree with radioamy, there's no guarantee about IUD. Get it done before January.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:23 PM on November 16, 2016

HHS would have to follow the legally-mandated rule-making process so there should be some warning. It should not be a "poof, it's gone" situation unless Congress immediately and radically rewrites the laws governing how federal agencies operate.
posted by muddgirl at 1:56 PM on November 16, 2016

It may not be a "poof" situation, but you won't be the only person trying to schedule an IUD. Do it sooner rather than later.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 2:54 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Even though it seems likely that it will remain free for a while, I stopped making excuses and did it anyway. It didn't even hurt! I am thrilled to have it over with, and adding a replacement notification to my calendar for 2021 was very satisfying. Hope those will be happier times for women's health.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 3:20 PM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

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