NY Health Officials Plan to Provide Contraceptive Devices to Low-Income Women

New York health officials have made a plan to reduce the instances of unwanted pregnancies in the state. As per the plan, contraceptive devices should be provided to low-income women who do not want to get pregnant after giving birth.

New York is one of the states that cover intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants through its Medicaid program. Recently, the state asked health providers to make sure that women get devices in the range between $350 and $700 immediately after delivery. The state has encouraged private insurers to follow their lead.

Acting state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said at a news conference at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan that birth control proves beneficial for women as they are better able to plan when they want to have baby. "When a woman is able to plan her subsequent pregnancies, she is better able to safeguard her health and well-being, as well as that of any future children", Dr. Zucker further affirmed.

As per officials, if women are given access to the devices immediately after birth rather than current phenomenon in which a post-delivery appointment is taken around six weeks later of giving birth, chances of another pregnancy can be reduced significantly.

In New York, the scheme would work as about 195,000 babies are born in the state every year, shared Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. Out of five, three pregnancies are unplanned.

Devices are 99% effective and last for three to 10 years. They can be removed anytime and there are no side-effects if women want to conceive in future. The federal funding covers 80% to 90% of the cost of the devices and rest of cost is covered by the state.

Howard Zucker