May 22, 2024 5:13 pm
U.S. Department of Defense Shares Statistics on Reproductive Health Care Travel Usage

Last year, the Department of Defense introduced two policies to support service members and eligible dependents in accessing noncovered reproductive health care services. These policies were implemented to address the challenges faced by individuals who cannot access such services near their permanent duty station. Under these policies, service members and their families can travel to another location to receive the necessary care and then return to their home station.

According to Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, these policies were used 12 times across the military services between June and December 2023, costing the department approximately $45,000. However, Singh clarified that this does not necessarily mean that 12 distinct individuals utilized the policy during that time frame. An individual could have used the policy multiple times within that period.

Another policy introduced last year allows service members to take administrative absence from their regular duty station for up to 21 days without using leave to receive or accompany a dual-military spouse or dependent receiving noncovered reproductive health care services. Noncovered reproductive health care services covered under these policies include procedures like egg retrieval, ovarian stimulations, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, and noncovered abortion. Service members may have their travel costs paid for by the department to access these services but are responsible for covering the actual healthcare costs themselves. These policies aim to provide service members and their families with the time and flexibility needed to make private health care decisions while ensuring access to noncovered reproductive health care services regardless of where they are stationed.

In conclusion, these policies have been introduced by the Department of Defense to support service members and eligible dependents in accessing noncovered reproductive health care services. The policies have been used 12 times between June and December 2023, costing approximately $45,000. These policies aim to ensure that service members have access to necessary healthcare regardless of where they are stationed while providing them with time and flexibility needed to make private health care decisions.

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