All the hard work of Planned Parenthood Affiliates in California, California Family Health Council, NARAL Pro-Choice California, and Senator Pavley culminated today with Gov. Jerry Brown signing into law SB 999, the bill allowing pharmacists to dispense up to a year supply of birth control at one time, and also requiring health plans to cover up to that 12-month supply of birth control.
For folks like me who had to go to the pharmacy once a month to refill my birth control prescription, this is awesome news. Here are some things folks like me no longer have to worry about:
Setting reminders and still forgetting...
... to go the pharmacy once a month for a new supply of birth control.
It's hard enough to remember taking the pill once a day, but also having to remember to pick it up once a month? #smh
And if you're like me and you're not planning a pregnancy, having a consistent and readily accessible supply of birth control is critical.
Planning around your already hectic schedule...
... to go to the pharmacy once month for a new supply of birth control.
It's a serious struggle to get to a pharmacy if you don't live near one, or you don't have a good source for transportation, or you've already got kids to take care of, or you're working one or more jobs - the list goes on.
Studies show that you're more likely to take birth control consistently if you receive a 12-month supply, therefore reducing your risk of unintended pregnancy by 30%, as shown by a recent review of SB 999 by the California Health Benefits Review Program. When a woman has the ability to plan when to have children (if at all), it's a win-win for everyone.
Your pharmacist denying you a new supply of birth control...
... no, seriously.
This happened to me twice this year because 1) I needed to pick up a supply of birth control before I went on vacation a few days before my regular refill period and 2) I later on needed to pick up a supply of birth control before traveling for work, again, a few days before my regular refill period. The first time, the pharmacist was able to submit a one-time claim for me, which I didn't even know was something I needed to worry about. Luckily in the end I was able to make it work, but it was a shocking stressor that is now relieved by the signing of SB 999.
A huge sigh of relief and an even bigger thank you to Gov. Brown and everyone who worked on passing this bill.