Skip to main content

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Skip subpage navigation

Reproductive Health: Contraceptives

Contraceptives

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 the Military Health System. To better facilitate access at military medical treatment facilities, the MHS has implemented walk-in contraceptive services at every MTF with appropriate clinical capabilities. These clinics do not require appointments and are 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, such as intrauterine devices and implants.

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.

Co-pays have been removed for medical procedures associated with contraceptive care, such as placement of intrauterine devices, implants and female tubal sterilization. 

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? 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) 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 Managed Care Support 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 TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery 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 home delivery, given potential delays in receipt of medications via mail order. Home delivery utilization is best served for chronic conditions and not acute conditions where timing of medications, such as emergency contraceptive, is critical.

Last Updated: January 30, 2024
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery