Military Expands Access to Noncovered Reproductive Health Care Services with New Policies

Usage Numbers for Reproductive Health Care Travel Released by DOD

The Department of Defense has recently implemented two policies aimed at ensuring that service members and their families have access to noncovered reproductive health care services, regardless of their duty station. These policies provide travel and transportation allowances to individuals who need to access these services outside of their permanent duty station. Additionally, the Department has granted administrative absences of up to 21 days to service members for noncovered reproductive health care services.

Between June and December 2023, the policy allowing for travel and transportation allowances was used 12 times across the military services at a total cost of approximately $45,000. However, this does not necessarily mean that 12 individuals used the policy, as an individual may have used it multiple times.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh emphasized that these policies are designed to give service members and their families the flexibility and time needed to make private health care decisions without having to worry about location barriers. She stated that noncovered reproductive health care services such as egg retrieval, ovarian stimulation, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, and noncovered abortions can be accessed through these policies. The Department of Defense covers travel costs for accessing these services, but service members are responsible for paying for the actual healthcare services themselves.

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