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Military Health System

Reproductive Health: Contraceptives

Contraceptives

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Reproductive Health Q&A
Q1:

What steps is DOD taking to facilitate access to contraceptives?

A:

Easy, convenient, and timely access to the full range of contraceptive methods and counseling is a goal of Military Health System (MHS). To better facilitate access at military medical treatment facilities (MTFs), the MHS is in the process of implementing walk-in contraceptive services at every MTF, expected to be completed by January 2023. These clinics do not require appointments and will be staffed with health care personnel who are trained in the full range of contraceptive methods, including short-acting reversible contraceptives (e.g., birth control pill, patch, or ring) and Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs), such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants.

Q2:

Where are military hospitals and clinics that have walk-in contraceptive services located today?

A:

Military hospitals and clinics on the following installations offer walk-in contraceptive services at least one day per week. Visit the Walk-in Contraceptive Services webpage to find a location near you.

  • Barksdale Air Force Base
  • Beale Air Force Base
  • Eglin Air Force Base
  • Ellsworth Air Force Base
  • Fort Belvoir
  • Fort Bliss
  • Fort Carson
  • Fort Irwin
  • Fort Jackson
  • Fort Meade
  • Fort Wainwright
  • Hill Air Force Base
  • Hurlburt Field
  • Incirlik Air Force Base
  • Goodfellow Air Force Base
  • Grand Forks Air Force Base
  • Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
  • Joint Base Langley-Eustis
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
  • Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
  • Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland
  • Kirtland Air Force Base
  • Kunsan Air Base
  • Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
  • Little Rock Air Force Base
  • Los Angeles Air Force Base
  • Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
  • Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms
  • Naval Air Station Jacksonville
  • Naval Air Station Lemoore
  • Naval Air Station Patuxent River
  • Naval Air Station Pensacola
  • Naval Air Station Sigonella
  • Naval Base Guam
  • Naval Base Kitsap
  • Naval Base Naples
  • Naval Base Rota
  • Naval Base Yokosuka
  • Naval Station Newport
  • Naval Support Activity Bethesda (Walter Reed National Military Medical Center)
  • Naval Support Activity Naples
  • Naval Support Activity Portsmouth
  • Spangdahlem Air Base
  • Travis Air Force Base
  • Tripler Army Medical Center
  • Tyndall Air Force Base
  • U.S. Air Force Academy
  • U.S. Military Academy - West Point
  • U.S. Naval Academy - Annapolis
  • Whiteman Air Force Base
  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
  • Yokosuka Navy Installation

Q3:

Why can't DOD waive copays for contraceptives?

A:

Cost-sharing amounts for prescription pharmaceuticals obtained outside a MTF, including oral contraceptive pills, are set in law, and would require a statutory change to waive. However, prescription pharmaceuticals are available to all eligible TRICARE beneficiaries in a MTF at no cost. 

Additionally, the Defense Health Agency will soon issue guidance removing copays for some forms of contraception requiring medical appointments, such as medical IUDs, implants, and sterilization.  Additional information on this guidance will be publicized as soon as it is made final.  

Read the article, "TRICARE Offers Contraceptive Care to Support You, Your Family, and Readiness" to learn more.


 

Q4:

Could state abortion laws affect the provision of IUDs?

A:

DOD will continue providing IUDs and other contraceptive care in MTFs, consistent with federal law, regardless of state law restrictions. 

Q5:

Who can provide Service members, dependents, or other beneficiaries with women’s health care such as long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs)? Do they have to be OB/GYNs or can they get it from a primary care physician? Where can they access this health care?

A:

Primary care providers who have been trained in placement (e.g., Family Medicine Physicians, Adolescent Medicine Physicians, Family Nurse Practitioners (NPs)) and Women’s health providers (e.g., OB/GYN physicians, Women’s Health NPs, Certified Nurse Midwives) may place LARCs, as may other primary care providers who have been trained in placement (Family Medicine Physicians, Adolescent Medicine Physicians, Family NPs, etc.).  In general, LARCs are provided during either an outpatient primary care, Certified Nurse Midwife, OB/GYN appointment, or less commonly, in a freestanding ambulatory surgery center or outpatient hospital department (e.g., when anesthesia is required).  Beneficiaries outside an MTF may contact their regional contractor for assistance to locate a provider and navigating their plan.

Q6:

What does DOD cover with regards to emergency contraceptives like Plan B? Where can beneficiaries pick them up?

A:

Oral emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B and ella, are covered within DOD and by the TRICARE Pharmacy benefit. Plan B is available at MTF or network retail pharmacies without need for prescription and with no copay.  Ella is available via prescription at MTF or network retail pharmacies (copay for non-Active Duty beneficiaries at retail only).  For network retail pharmacies, the beneficiary (or a friend or partner picking up for the beneficiary) must provide documentation of patient identity and TRICARE eligibility, generally an appropriate ID card, in order for the pharmacy to process the TRICARE Pharmacy benefit claim. Plan B is also available for purchase in many Military Exchanges, pharmacies, and other local retailers.

Q7:

Could state abortion laws affect the provision of emergency contraceptives like Plan B or ella?

A:

DOD will continue to provide Plan B, ella, and other contraceptive care in MTFs, consistent with federal law, regardless of state law restrictions. If a state prohibited emergency contraceptives, we expect that private sector retail pharmacies operating in that state would comply with state law.

Q8:

Does DOD permit the mailing of emergency contraceptive pills through the TRICARE Mail Order Pharmacy Program to Service members, dependents, or other beneficiaries in states that restrict access? Does DOD distribute emergency contraceptive pills to Service members, dependents, or other beneficiaries at MTFs in affected states?

A:

Currently, emergency contraceptives like Plan B or ella are not available via mail-order pharmacy, given potential delays in receipt of medications via mail order. Mail order utilization is best served for chronic conditions and not acute conditions where timing of medications, such as emergency contraceptive, is critical. 

Last Updated: December 01, 2022
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