Talking to your employer about birth control coverage
We're here with tips to make speaking up a little less awkward.
In 2017, the Trump Administration issued two new rules that allow employers to opt out of covering birth control based on religious or moral objections. On July 8, 2020, the Supreme Court decided those rules could stand. As a result, many people are at risk of losing access to no co-pay birth control coverage. If you’re worried that you might lose your birth control coverage, and you want to have a conversation about it, here are some tips for talking to your employer.
1. Start with your coworkers.
Are your coworkers concerned about the birth control rules too? If so, you can draft a formal letter and have your coworkers sign it. If you don’t have anyone in your workplace willing to speak up, don’t freak out. Your voice is still important.
2. Schedule a meeting with the right person.
It’s tempting to think you can storm into your boss’s office or stop them in the hall for a chat, but serious concerns require your employer’s full attention. Schedule a time to meet with your supervisor. In larger companies, your human resources department might be the best place to start the conversation about healthcare coverage.
3. Write down talking-points.
You care deeply about accessible birth control, but your employer might not know a lot about the issue. That’s why you’ll want to educate them on why birth control access is important. Here are some talking points we love:
99% of U.S. women have used birth control at some point in their lives.
The National Business Group on Health recommends employers offer services to promote family planning (that includes all FDA approved methods). Why? Because there’s evidence that birth control coverage actually saves companies money.
More effective forms of birth control, like IUDs, can cost can cost up to $800 without insurance coverage.
While the reasons shouldn’t matter, your boss might want to know that over 30% of birth control prescribed in the United States is used for non-contraceptive reasons like endometriosis, PCOS, and Fibroids.
You can share your personal reasons for wanting birth control coverage after you’ve made your case for why birth control is part of basic health care. To arm yourself with stories from all over the country, check out our storytelling portal.
4. Plan for next steps.
If your employer is getting rid of coverage make sure to remind them that they must inform all employees in writing. You can contact CoverHer, a hotline run by the National Women’s Law Center, to help you get covered.
If your employer is keeping coverage thank them, and ask them to notify other employees as a courtesy (they aren’t required to but it would be nice).
If you’re reluctant to approach your employer or if your employer hasn’t given you a definitive answer, call your insurance company and inquire about any changes to your plan. Keep in mind that your employer might not take advantage of the new rules right away, so you may have to follow up several times.
Taking steps to approach your employer is huge, and it will help clear up confusions for other people in your office who might also be concerned. Remember, whether or not your birth control coverage is in danger, it’s important that we all keep fighting against these rules.
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