College insurance to include birth control

Changes to the College’s prescription plan will increase the annual premium for every student by about $50 – and the reason is of contention among students.

In December, the New Jersey State Assembly passed the Contraceptive Equity Bill, which requires insurance plans to cover birth control just as they would any other prescription drug. As a result, a college prescription plan now must cover birth control prescriptions.

Not all forms of birth control will be covered, so it is important to investigate what the College will and won’t pay for before getting a prescription.

The coverage and increase in the annual premium are expected to occur in the Fall 2006 semester. It will save women who use birth control on a monthly basis hundreds of dollars a year.

Men and women on campus have mixed reactions.

“I definitely don’t think that I should be paying for something that’s not affecting me personally,” Dom Serra, senior criminology and justice studies major, said.

Though Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) had students petition for the coverage during the College’s “Declare Your Right to Choose Day,” the fight for the bill surprised some.

“They should have asked the college campus first,” Matthew Santos, junior elementary education/psychology major, said. “It’s important to survey the campus to see if everyone agrees on it first.”

While men may complain about having to spend money on something that they don’t use, sexually active men on campus benefit from the coverage.

“Although I can see guys being upset about this, I honestly think they should just suck it up,” Inessa Shor, senior psychology major, said. “Women aren’t having sex with themselves and impregnating themselves. It takes two to tango.”

“I think this is a great thing,” she added. “Many women who are not on birth control in college definitely need to be for various reasons, and this may allow them to get it without the hassle of having to go through their parents.”

However, not all women share the same feeling.

“For the mere fact that birth control is not a procedure necessary for the betterment of one’s everyday health, I believe that colleges should not (cover) birth control,” Naomi Rutz, sophomore music major, said. “I’d rather see them invest the time and energy in flu shots or something that everybody can benefit from.”

There are several ways of looking at the potential costs. On the one hand, they’re cheaper than the costs of raising a child while in college. But then again, condoms, which also prevent contraception, are available at Health Services for free.

The ramifications of the state’s decision are huge and affect everyone on campus. If you are a woman who is not on the College prescription plan, now may be the perfect time to investigate.