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Don't bill health insurance for condoms

Dr. Jessica K. Lee praises the new Maryland law that provides “free” contraceptives to anyone (“Landmark law removes barriers to contraception in Md.,” Jan. 22). What she fails to note is that we, the insurance premium payers, pay for this “free” birth control and sexually transmitted disease protection when, indeed, that cost should be paid for by the users who don’t know the meaning of self-control or frugality or budgeting.

Some reality: The price of condom? About 50 cents (the only protection against STD transfer for the sexually active). And birth control pills? About $20 to $50 a month (67 cents to $1.67 per day without insurance or support from a government program or Planned Parenthood. An IUD? That’s 24 cents per day. And a vasectomy? Somewhere between $350 and $1,000 but with no protection against STDs. Over time, assuming no reversal, that’s less than a $1 a day and getting less and less as you get older.

If you cannot afford this small price to pay for pregnancy and STD protection, should you be having sex? Maybe insurance companies and we, the premium premium payers, should cover the cost of toothpaste, tooth brushes, bandages, sunscreens and over-the-counter pain relievers.

B.H. Meyer, Elkridge

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