Wide support found for insurance coverage for oral contraceptives

June 24, 2011

Three-quarters of American consumers think that private and government-subsidized health insurance plans should cover most or all of the cost of oral contraceptives, according to a May 2011 Thomson Reuters-National Public Radio (NPR) Health Poll.

Three-quarters of American consumers think that private and government-subsidized health insurance plans should cover most or all of the cost of oral contraceptives, according to a May 2011 Thomson Reuters-National Public Radio (NPR) Health Poll.

Of 3,014 respondents interviewed between April 1 and April 13, 2011, 76.6% supported private health insurance coverage, and 74.4% support government-subsidized coverage. In addition, 78.3% said the federal government should subsidize birth control and other family planning services, excluding abortion, at government-funded clinics for low-income women. The margin of error for the poll was 1.8%.

Support for private insurance and government-subsidized coverage of oral contraceptives was high across all age, income, and education groups. For private insurance, support ranged from 61.5% among people older than 65 years to 82.8% in those younger than 35 years; from 70.6% among respondents with yearly incomes below $25,000 to 81.2% among people with incomes above $100,000; and from 70.5% for respondents with a high school education or less to 79.3% among those with education beyond the college level. For government-subsidized coverage, support ranged from 59.4% among people older than 65 years to 78.8% among people younger than 35 years; from 65.6% among respondents with annual incomes under $25,000 to 79.4% among people with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000; and from 68.5% among respondents with a high school education or less to 77.8% among respondents with education beyond the college level.

Support for birth control and other family planning services, except abortion, at government-funded clinics for low-income women was also high across the board, with the lowest approval rating at 69.7% among people older than 65 years. Approval ratings for all other groups were 73% or higher.

The poll was developed by Thomson Reuters and NPR as part of a monthly series to sample opinions on a variety of healthcare issues. Complete survey results are available at www.factsforhealthcare.com/pressroom/NPR_report_OralContraceptives.pdf.