U.S. Department of Defense Shares Statistics on Reproductive Health Care Travel Usage

Pentagon Puts Family-Friendly Policies in Place for Non-Covered Reproductive Health Services

The Pentagon has recently implemented two policies that aim to provide service members and their families with access to noncovered reproductive health care services, regardless of their location. One policy allows individuals to receive travel and transportation allowances for these services when they are not available near their permanent duty station. According to Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, the policy was used 12 times between June and December 2023, costing the department approximately $45,000.

However, Singh clarified that this does not necessarily mean that 12 distinct individuals used the policy during that time frame. An individual could have utilized the policy more than once. Another policy implemented 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.

The policies cover a range of noncovered reproductive health care services, including 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 they are responsible for covering the actual health care costs themselves. These policies aim to provide service members and their families with the time and flexibility needed to make private health care decisions and ensure access to noncovered reproductive health care services regardless of where they are stationed.

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