A mother holding her baby.

Financial support for access to contraception

The Government is investing more than $1 million over the next four years to provide greater assistance to women on a benefit who choose to use approved long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC).

The financial assistance will also be available to female dependent children of beneficiaries aged sixteen to nineteen who choose to use LARC.

While most contraceptives are fully subsidised, the cost of doctor visits can be a barrier. Both Family Planning and primary care doctors normally charge for insertion of long acting reversible devices. This initiative provides greater access for women beneficiaries to get professional medical advice on these contraceptives if they choose to.

The two main types of LARC – copper intrauterine devices (IUCDs) and certain contraceptive implants are fully funded by PHARMAC. In addition, the three-monthly Depo provera injection is also fully funded.

One further type of LARC (Mirena IUCD) is funded under this scheme where the Special Authority medical criteria are met.

The Special Needs Grant will cover the cost of attending a medical appointment and the contraceptive itself, where the cost is not fully covered by PHARMAC or a District Health Board subsidy.

The Grant will be available to young persons receiving assistance under the Youth Package from 30 July 2012. Availability will be extended to the wider beneficiary population on 15 October 2012 and will include female dependent children aged 16-19 years of adult beneficiaries.