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Birth control access about to change in Ontario

Kitchener Today with Lyndsey Butcher 29 March 2019

Starting April 1, young people who have access to private insurance will no longer be eligible to recieve free prescription medications through OHIP+.

That’s due to changes made by the Ford Government last year. 

The previous Liberal Government launched the OHIP+ plan in January of 2018, which covered the cost of prescriptions for anyone aged 24 or younger. 

Lyndsey Butcher, the Executive director of the Shore Centre in Kitchener, told KitchenerToday with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS that she is worried that it will be too difficult to access birth control. 

“Our concern is that young people will no longer have coverage when they have the private plan, because often birth control is not covered through the private plans in many instances. If the birth control is covered, it’s only a percentages that’s covered.”

She said that many young people are reluctant to access birth control for fear of their parents finding out. 

“Unfortunately with the world we live in often times when parents discover that their teenager is on birth control, they take away the birth control, punish them for being on it, and in some instances will kick them out of the house for being sexually active.”

Butcher added that she fears many will not have affordable access to the birth control. 

“If your private insurance doesn’t cover the medication, it’s not like you can bill OHIP+. You will no longer have any access at all to OHIP+. Even if your coverage does not cover the medication that you have been subscribed by your health care provider,” Butcher said. 

She noted that all these factors could lead to young people not using birth control resulting in an increased risk of unplanned pregnancies.