Senate Bill 421 would lift the present three-month cap for contraceptive prescriptions, raising it to 12 months. Under the proposed law, doctors would prescribe 12 months of the medication, and insurance carriers would be mandated to cover it without imposing co-pays. Newly prescribed patients could walk into pharmacies and leave with a year’s supply of contraceptives.
The bill, championed by Planned Parenthood and health care industry groups, is meant to address a long-standing problem for those taking “the pill” – forgetfulness. Often distributed in packs of 28, and designed to be taken daily, the oral contraceptives require diligence to be effective. Having to obtain refill prescriptions every several months can prove difficult for some, setting up potential delays and lapses in use. Missing a week or even days can carry side effects for women who rely on the pill, or lead to unplanned pregnancy.
…Around a quarter of all women who use contraceptives report missing days due to difficulty getting prescription renewal, according to a 2011 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Supporters say the bill would benefit low-income people with less time to organize renewed prescriptions.