Usage Numbers for Reproductive Health Care Travel Released by DOD

Defense Department Policies Provide Access to Noncovered Reproductive Health Care for Service Members and Families

In recent years, the Department of Defense has implemented two policies that allow service members and their families to access noncovered reproductive health care services. The first policy enables service members and eligible dependents to receive travel and transportation allowances to access these services if they are not readily available near their permanent duty station. This means that service members can travel to another state or overseas location to receive these services and then return home.

According to Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, the policy was used 12 times across the military services between June and December 2023, at a total cost of approximately $45,000. However, Singh clarified that this does not necessarily mean 12 individuals used the policy, as an individual may have used it multiple times.

The second policy allows service members to be granted administrative absences from their normal duty stations for up to 21 days without using leave, in order to receive or accompany a dual-military spouse or dependent receiving noncovered reproductive health care services. These noncovered services include procedures like egg retrieval, ovarian stimulation, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, and noncovered abortions.

While the Department of Defense covers travel costs for accessing these services, service members are responsible for paying for the actual health care services themselves. Singh emphasized that these policies 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 their duty station.

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