On January 16th, the Regional Health Commission (RHC) submitted testimony in support of House Bill 2190 which would expand access to contraception by prioritizing and passing annual-supply birth control legislation. 

HB 2190 would require any health benefit plan in Missouri to reimburse a health care provider or dispensing entity for the dispensing of a supply of self-administered hormonal contraceptives intended to last up to one year.  This would increase access to oral contraception to prevent pregnancy. This is crucial because the efficacy of oral contraceptives depends on medication compliance. Providing an annual supply will decrease missed doses and increase medication compliance, resulting in fewer unintended pregnancies.   

To achieve our vision of zero health disparities, the RHC prioritizes expanding coverage for the underinsured and uninsured as well as achieving health equity. This legislation would support both these objectives by removing barriers to access to contraception and reinforcing the belief that everyone in our state should have the opportunity to determine if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant.  

A recent survey released in June of 2023 showed that Missourians are worried about future access to birth control and that there is considerable confusion about its legality. This survey of Missouri residents by the Missouri-based The Right Time initiative found that 72% of respondents — including 74% of Republicans, 85% of Democrats, and 87% of Independents — think the Missouri state legislature should pass policies that make birth control more affordable and accessible. Furthermore, 25 states already have already implemented this policy.  

HB 2190 would increase access to oral contraceptives and promote health equity. Currently, birth control pills are only dispensed for 30 or 90 days. Removing the barrier of having to travel to a pharmacy or clinic every month will result in fewer missed doses, fewer unintended pregnancies and better health outcomes for all. 

To download a copy of the testimony submitted by Riisa Rawlins, Interim CEO of the RHC, click the button below!

If you have any additional questions or requests for information, please contact Kate Kasper, Manager of Policy and Advocacy at kkasper@stlrhc.org.  

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