Does Health Insurance Cover Your Sexual Health?

Does Health Insurance Cover Your Sexual Health? text overlaying image fo a woman being offered different types of birth controlSexual health is very important. It can change other parts of health and is affected by other parts of health. This includes mental, emotional, and social health as well as physical health. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that sexual health is “fundamental to the overall health and well-being of individuals, couples, and families.” Sexual health isn’t just about not getting sick or having children. The CDC says that it involves respect for both sexual relationships and sexuality, pleasure, and a safe sexual experience that is free of coercion, discrimination, or violence. According to WHO, the foundation of sexual health is:


  • Having accurate information about sex and sexuality
  • Understanding risks associated with unprotected sex
  • Access to proper healthcare

A health care provider can help with all of these things. They can help you figure out what’s going on with your mind and set up any treatments you might need to get better or stay healthy. Having good sexual health is important, but will your health insurance pay for the things you and your partners need to stay safe? Below we’ll look at what’s covered and why you need to keep yourself healthy in every aspect of your life. 

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Talking To Your Doctor

Your doctor can tell you how to keep your sexual relationships safe and talk to you about how your body image affects your sexuality. You might also learn how to avoid getting sick in the first place. Sexual health can be a scary subject to talk about. But it’s important to tell them the truth.


The things you say in the exam room are private, and your doctor is required by U.S. law to keep your personal information safe. If you are honest with your doctor, you can find out what conditions you may be at risk for and how to avoid them. You can also find out if you have any diagnoses related to your sexual health. Below we’ve highlighted sexual health issues your doctor can help you prevent or treat.


STIs, sexually transmitted infections, can be passed through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Most STIs don’t show any signs, especially in the beginning stages of infection. Without proper testing, you might never know if you or your partner have an STI. The most common STIs are:


  • HIV
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Hepatitis A, B, and C

Most STIs can be treated or kept under control with antibiotics or other drugs, and some can even be cured. Still, many cases are thought to not have been found or treated. Some people can get very sick if they don’t get their STIs treated. This is one reason why it’s important to learn how to avoid getting them. 

Does Health Insurance Cover STI Testing?

For the most part, yes. STI testing is one of the preventative health benefits that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health plans to cover. Under the ACA, all insurance plans must cover HIV testing for people between 15-65, as well as for anyone else with an increased risk of HIV. Tests for things like syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea may be covered as part of preventative care benefits. Which means even if you haven’t met your deductible the costs of the tests are covered. However, you still may have to pay a copay to see the doctor in the first place. 

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Birth Control

Knowing how to have sex in a safer way can help stop not only the spread of STIs, but also unwanted pregnancies. You can talk to your doctor about different kinds of birth control and condoms as ways to stay safe. 

Does Health Insurance Cover Birth Control?

Yes, most health insurance plans must cover all prescription birth control methods for free, even if you haven’t met your deductible. This means that you don’t have to pay a copay, coinsurance, or any other out-of-pocket costs. Including:


  • Pills
  • Implants
  • IUDs
  • Vaginal ring
  • Patches
  • Shot
  • Internal condoms
  • Diaphragms
  • Cervical caps
  • Tubal ligation (female sterilization) 

Some health insurance plans may require cost-sharing for certain brands of birth control. So, it’s important to check with your health insurance company to see if the birth control you want is covered. If it isn’t they can tell you how much it costs. The nurse or doctor who gives you your birth control can also help you find a brand that will cover your chosen method. It’s also important to note that health insurance isn’t required to cover birth control methods for men like vasectomies, but some may. Some religious organizations can choose not to cover birth control for their employees in their group health insurance plans. 

Does Health Insurance Cover Emergency Contraception?

Yes, but depending on the type you need, it can get a little tricky. Under the ACA, most health insurance plans have to cover all methods of birth control that you can get with a prescription, including emergency contraception. There are three types of emergency birth control: the Ella morning-after pill, the Plan B morning-after pill, and other generic versions. The best kind of morning-after pill is called Ella. Since you need a prescription to get Ella, most health insurance plans will pay for it for free. Plan B and other brands of levonorgestrel morning-after pills can be bought without a prescription. If you buy these kinds of morning-after pills without a prescription, your health insurance won’t pay for them.


Your nurse or doctor can write you a prescription for morning-after pills, like those at your local Planned Parenthood health center. Since Ella is the most effective type of morning-after pill, it’s a good idea to ask for it in particular. If you want levonorgestrel (also known as “Plan B”) morning-after pills, you may have to explain to your doctor why you want a prescription, since you don’t need one to buy it. Tell them that your health insurance will only cover the cost if you have a prescription. It’s a good idea to buy morning-after pills ahead of time and keep them in your medicine cabinet, just in case. That way, if you need it, you can get it right away.

Does Health Insurance Cover Abortions?

The ACA does not require health insurance plans to cover abortion services like in-clinic abortions and the abortion pill. Some plans, however, do cover it. Coverage for abortions depends on many things: like where you live, what kind of insurance you have, and why you need an abortion. Many private health insurance plans cover abortion, but some don’t or aren’t allowed to in certain states. Some states don’t let any health insurance cover abortions at all, while other states require all plans to cover abortions or don’t limit abortion coverage at all. Other states don’t let ACA marketplace plans, Medicaid, and other types of insurance cover abortions. Some plans will only pay for an abortion in certain situations, like if the pregnancy was caused by rape,incest or if it puts your life in danger.

General Wellness Exams

As we said before, most health plans have to cover preventative care for free, even before you meet your deductible. This includes wellness exams for people under 65. Such as gynecological exams, annual exams, or “well woman” exams. Wellness exams will include things like pelvic exams, pap smears, breast exams, STI testing, and birth control counseling. All of these are covered by health insurance. 


Most health insurance plans also cover other kinds of preventive care, like vaccines, cholesterol tests, blood pressure tests, and some mental health screenings. Most plans pay for at least one annual wellness visit. Depending on the current medical guidelines and your own health history, they may cover other preventive services, tests, and screenings more or less often. 

Drug And Alcohol Treatment

What does drinking or drug use have to do with sexual health? In general, these substances can affect mental, physical and sexual health. When people use alcohol or drugs, they’re at a higher risk for unprotected sex or unwanted sex which can lead to STIs and pregnancies. If you have HIV, drug and alcohol abuse can actually worsen the disease. Drug and alcohol treatment along with other behavioral health services is another benefit that is covered under the ACA. It is important for you to understand what your specific plan will and won’t cover as these services are covered differently by each plan. 

Need Help?

It’s important to have a good health insurance plan so that you can get regular checks on your sexual health. When you are looking for the best health insurance plan for you and your family, you will have a lot of options. The best one for you will depend on how you live, which doctors you want to see, and whether you need medical equipment or take regular medications.


The best way to find a cheap plan with the right level of coverage for you is to compare plans. Come to EZ first before you start comparing things on your own. We’ll make the process faster and easier by letting you compare plans in your area in just a few minutes. All of the best insurance companies in the country work with our licensed agents. They can talk with you about your needs and budget and help you find the best plan for you and your family. We compare plans and give you advice for free. Enter your zip code in the box below to get free quotes. You can also call 877-670-3557 to talk to a live agent.

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New Findings on Menopause, Libido, and the Importance of Sex as We Age

Watch the TV long enough, and you’re bound to be bombarded with ads promoting pills for men’s sexual health. There doesn’t seem to be many taboos remaining when it comes to talking about older men and sex, but we still seem to be lagging behind when it comes to discussing older women’s feelings about sex. True, we have begun to look more at how menopause affects women and the way they experience sex physically, and that is positive. But are we really talking about the importance of sex and sexuality to older women? Probably not as much as we should be – sex doesn’t stop after 50! Luckily, a new study is now trying to highlight this subject, and has published some interesting findings about menopause, sex drive, and the importance of sex to women as they age.

The Study

black and white picture of a caucasian woman looking out a window
Many women over the age of 50 do not talk about sex, which leads to feeling alone and misunderstood. 

It seems like our reluctance to talk about how older women feel about sex has lead to a lot of assumptions. For example, have you noticed that a lot of people assume that once a woman reaches menopause, her sex drive is going to automatically and inevitably fade away? Women over 50 (or even over 35 or 40 sometimes!) definitely have reason to complain that they are left feeling invisible, and misunderstood, especially when it comes to their sexuality. But feelings about sex are intensely personal for everyone – women over 50 included! – and can be complicated. The cure to this silence? More open, honest looks at how older women view their sex lives. 

Holly N. Thomas, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, has spent years trying to get more detailed information on older women’s sexuality out there. Thomas and her team recently presented a long-term study to answer the question of whether it’s inevitable that women lose interest in sex when they get older.

“We were interested in looking at how women’s ratings of how important sex was to them changes or stays the same as they move through the menopausal transition,” says Thomas. They studied 3,257 women over 15 years of their lives, monitoring them physically and consistently asking how important sex was to them throughout these years. Their findings were in some ways surprising, and in some ways completely common sense. 

The Findings

The problem with studies of a lot of people is that they often just show us how people feel on average. So maybe if you asked multiple women how they felt about sex as they got older, and then you lumped all of their answers together, it might look like on average sex usually gets less and less important to women the older they get. Luckily, this study accounted for that and found that, unsurprisingly, different women have different opinions on the importance of sex to them. 

According to Thomas, “If you just looked at averages of the group as a whole, it would look like how important sex is to women would go down for everyone, but we actually found three distinct pathways women commonly follow when it comes to how much they value sex as they get older. It’s important to recognize not all women are going to follow the same pathway when it comes to sex at midlife, each woman has her own unique experience.”illustration of a paper on a clipboard with a pencil writing on it, some green check marks with one red X

So how did these women view the importance of sex? While the largest group of them (45%) said that sex did actually become less important to them as they went through their 40s, 50s, and 60s, 27% said that it had remained “highly important” to them throughout the entirety of their midlife. The remaining group said that sex was not very important to them as they entered midlife, and their feelings remained the same as they got older.

So the study proves what might be obvious to any older woman (or anyone with a close relationship to an older woman!): sex can be a big part of anyone’s life! But the study also found that there are a few things that women can address to keep their sex lives an exciting and active part of their lives. 

What was it that The Rolling Stones were talking about? Satisfaction! The study found that one of the most important factors in women remaining interested in sex is satisfaction. We’re talking physical satisfaction and emotional satisfaction – sex that feels good and hits the spot in all senses of the word! If sex doesn’t feel good, then women should feel comfortable speaking with their doctors about possible solutions. 

Another factor? Psychological health. Taking care of our mental health is always important. But it is especially vital as we age and our lives begin to change, with kids leaving home and retirement making the whole structure of our days different. In Thomas’ study, she found that women who were depressed were less likely to feel that sex was important to them; she points out that there is definitely a link between depression and low libido. Women should always speak to their doctor if they’re feeling low, including if they feel like it’s affecting their sex drive!

More Talk = Better Sex?

There is nothing inevitable about women losing their sex drives as they get older. Sex does not get less important to all women simply because they hit menopause; if it was important before, it is more likely to continue to be important. But we might need to work at keeping it fresh and interesting, and realize that sex itself might start to change as we age. And we definitely all need to work on being more open about everyone’s sexuality.  

two older women talking while sitting at a table with coffee mugs on it
It is important for doctors to talk about women’s sex life, and for women to talk about any problems they face about sex.

According to Stephanie Faubion, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Women’s Health in Rochester, Minnesota, “Sexual function is usually under addressed in women in general but certainly in women beyond menopause. We need to be more routinely asking women in midlife about their sexual function and whether there are barriers such as having pain during intercourse or if they’re having problems with low sexual desire that’s bothering them.”

Her main point? We should be talking with women about ways to keep their sex life active throughout their whole lives, if that’s what they want. Doctors should talk to women about how sex might look different in midlife and beyond, and nobody should feel shy or uncomfortable talking about how they can reinvent or reimagine their sex lives. Everyone should be encouraged to spice things up, or explore what feels good to them – whether it’s trying out things like talking dirty or switching from regular old missionary position sex to things like oral sex and mutual masturbation.

Doctors agree that we should all be having fun in whatever way works for us (even if they say it in their own doctor language!) Says Faubion, “We have to modify our expectations about sexual functioning as we get older. Sex may not be always be penis and vagina sex; I have that conversation often with my patients.” Most importantly, we need to acknowledge that sexual intimacy in some form remains important for pretty much everyone throughout their whole lives. 

The takeaway from studies like this is that we cannot make assumptions about anybody’s feelings, especially on subjects as personal as sex and sexuality. The way to cure our tendency to dismiss older women’s sexuality, and to validate their feelings and support them? Be more open about it! It’s time to ditch old stereotypes and taboos and allow everyone to live their fullest, most satisfying lives.

How to Own Menopause AND Your Sex Life

Hot flashes. Mood changes. Chills. Slowed metabolism. And worst of all, vaginal dryness. These are just some of the symptoms that accompany menopause.

When the time comes, menopause will be a new phase of your life, and that phase comes with changes. Your biggest concern may be sex-related.  The main culprit stealing the fun from sex is thin vaginal walls, or even the dryness we talked about earlier.

women smiling with menopause and sex life
Keep a bright outlook! Not everyone experiences life changes in the same way.

These problems all stem from lower estrogen levels. When menopause occurs, your hormone levels decrease, and this can trigger unwanted changes. The physical ones can be uncomfortable enough, but with such a huge role, lowered estrogen (and testosterone) can wreak havoc on your libido, energy levels, and more. 

However, it’s not all bad. Some women report their lives improving after menopause! There are simple fixes to these problems that’ll have you back in the saddle in no time.  

Exercise Your Sex Drive

Want to revive your sex drive? Simple, just exercise more. 

The healthier you feel (and are), the sexier you will feel, which aids in good mental health. Confidence and proper self-care are key factors in a healthy sex life. Weight-lifting, cardio, even yoga can give you a wellness boost; things you can feel in both mind and body. 

It also doesn’t hurt to be stronger, and keep up your stamina in the bedroom!

Lube Is Important

Out of all these issues, vaginal dryness is the easiest to treat. Personal lubricant, or “lube” as it is affectionately called, is sold over the counter at grocery stores and pharmacies. No need for a prescription. 

Apply a water-based lube before you have sex. Why water-based? Well, water-based lubricants are less sticky than oil or petroleum-based lubricants, making for an easier clean-up. Also of note, some condoms can dissolve in oil-based lubricants. If you want to practice safe sex, then steering towards water-based is a good rule of thumb.

woman in pink making a face about menopause
Supplements? Lube? Uncomfortable conversations? This doesn’t seem like fun, but these ways are manageable, and they can open new doors.

These lubes relieve the dryness, and you can enjoy sex again without the pain. If you want a more natural lube, coconut oil also works great. Just make sure that you don’t have a coconut allergy!

Testosterone Replacement

We tend to focus on men when it comes to testosterone supplements. It’s an easy fix for their erectile dysfunction or other male issues. However, everybody uses testosterone, just in different ways.

Women’s sex drive can also be boosted with a little testosterone. Talk to your doctor about it if it intrigues you, but know that there are side effects that come with it such as thinning hair and acne. Like most hormone supplements, successful use is directly tied to your body chemistry, so remember to pay close attention if you choose this route.

Let’s Get Physical, Physical

Have more sex. Yes, you read that right.

Menopause can make sex painful, so it is understandable when you say it hurts. We went over the thinning and dryness issues earlier. However, the more penetrative sex you have, the better equipped your body will be to keep your vaginal walls thick. It’s kind of like exercise.

Arousal leads to blood flow down below. And don’t worry if you lack a sex partner, masturbation works just as well.


It’s hard to talk about menopause; it’s not the sexiest issue out there, and many women aren’t looking forward to this time of life.

On top of societal concerns, you have to deal with vaginal dryness, painful sex, lowered libido, and more. The last thing you want to do is bring up how sex has to change. It’s not a conversation anyone is prepared to have.

However, communicating these issues with your partner will only bring you closer.

woman smiling in a sweater about menopause solutions
More communication can only make your relationship stronger! Think of sexy ways to keep life interesting.

Help them to understand the changes you are dealing with and ways you can have more enjoyable sex. If you are open about it, you gain assistance while you walk this difficult path Plus once you get it out in the open, it’s just a matter of time and teamwork.!

Your sex life does not have to end once you go through menopause. Yes, it might cause pain when having sex, and yes, you might not want to have sex as much, but maybe you’ll find it’s a blessing in disguise. Communicating and exploring your body can only improve sex. 

Like any uncomfortable situation, you can take the best from it and move forward. With menopause, there are alternatives to kick it in the butt, and still have a great life. 

Confidence is important. Do not let the word menopause define you. Take it on with a positive attitude and own it!

PrEP, Protector From HIV? Or a Clever Villain

Usage of the Drug Protects You, But What About the Long Game?

I remember visiting some friends in San Francisco, and they were surprised that I wasn’t taking PrEP like they were. Sexual health is a big issue and none bigger in the community than the topic of AIDS and HIV. They aren’t the death sentence they used to be, but it still involves a major life change.

I know my friends were looking out for me. So, I did some research, found a program, and started my prescription with the drug. I’m three months in and about to start my next prescription. However, I’ve looked into the long term side effects, and they aren’t anything to sneeze about.

But as a “healthy individual,” does this extra protection against HIV infection outweigh the possible health problems in my future? Am I bargaining safer sex for a different physical issue?

sexual health fear stress
It’s hard making these decisions for your sexual health, but you must.

So, What is PrEP?

PrEP is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Basically, a treatment before coming into contact with the virus. It reduces your risk of contracting HIV from sexual encounters or any encounter where you may be exposed to an infected fluid. This is the only sexually transmitted infection it works to prevent.

Studies have shown that this prevention method works across the board. Gay and bisexual men, heterosexual men and women, and injection drug users can all benefit from its protection. If you have a risk of getting HIV, then this is for you.

The particular drug used is called Truvada or FTC/TDF.  It’s FDA approved, and it has been in use for about seven years now.

If you take it as prescribed (one pill a day), then your risk of becoming infected with HIV is reduced by 99%.

Sounds great, right?

Are There Long Term Changes?

So, down to the nitty-gritty. My research brought up that in the future, PrEP users can expect a change in their kidney function and/or bone mineral density. PrEP long term use can lead down some slippery roads.

HIV test know your status
Getting tested and knowing your HIV status is paramount to our community.

Currently, there is no fact sheet telling us what will happen to “healthy” individuals taking PrEP over the course of years. We do know that HIV infected individuals have the aforementioned health concerns, but at this time, we just don’t have enough research, because the drug is too new.

My personal interactions, in this case, have been hopeful. The medical professionals that prescribe me Truvada are also monitoring my kidneys for changes every three months. I assume they are taking adequate precautions with my bone density as well.

How Can You Get PrEP?

So, like me, you’re on board with this idea. You acquire an HIV preventative medication for peace of mind.

Your first step is to talk to your doctor and, of course, check with your insurance provider to see if they cover this. Financially, speaking, the drug can get expensive with costs of up to $2000. If your doctor approves you for this, you’ll start the process by taking an HIV test along with others to get your health baseline. It’s important to know your HIV status in general, but more so when starting PrEP.

personal health PrEP prescription
You have to take control of your own health! No one can do it for you.

After this, your medical professional should get you going in the right direction. We trust them for these reasons.

Another option is participating in a program. The Gilead program has been an absolute godsend for me. Medicaid can help, but it differs across state lines. If you’re lucky enough to live in San Francisco like my friends, Healthy San Francisco offers assistance.

After your tests are cleared, you’ll pick up your medication or have it shipped to you. Starting the drug, you are cautioned to expect mild nausea.

Let’s face it. When you’re caught up in the moment, sometimes it’s hard to think clearly enough to protect yourself. Using PrEP significantly reduces your risk of getting HIV, and the life-altering changes that come with it. Your personal health care has to be a high priority on all fronts: past, present, and future. At this point, the pros of using PrEP outweigh the unknown cons.

EZ.Insure is there for you should you want to change your health plan by upgrading or need to look into getting one on your own. If this drug sounds good to you, talk to your agent about its coverage in your current healthcare plan. They’re there for you to make sure you (and your wallet) stay healthy.

New Sexually Transmitted Disease “MG” Discovered

Experts are warning that a new sexually transmitted disease, mycoplasma genitalium, MG, can become the next superbug because it can sometimes be symptomless. Most of the time this disease is mistaken for chlamydia or gonorrhea, which is why it is often mistreated. This disease, like all STD’s, is spread through unprotected sex. For better sexual health, it is important to learn about this STD, and understand how to prevent contraction. 

The bacterium MG, was first discovered in 1981 according the the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). The Association found that if it goes untreated for too long, it can develop a resistance to antibiotics. A consultant in sexual health and HIV, and the clinical lead at the Liverpool Center for Sexual Health, Dr. Mark Lawton told CNN “We are already seeing resistance to Mycoplasma genitalium because we are using antibiotics that treat chlamydia very well but don’t treat mycoplasma very well.”

Safe sex can rprevent STD's.
Practicing safe sex will prevent getting the superbug, MG, and other STD’s.


One to two percent of the population carry MG, between women and men. For men, the bacteria can cause inflammation of the urethra, PID. This will lead to pain while urinating, and/or watery discharge from the penis. For women, the bacteria causes inflammation in the cervix. This can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, pain during sex and the pelvic area, and bleeding after sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, and the BASHH, if it is left untreated then up to 3,000 women a year who get pelvic inflammatory disease caused by MG, will have a higher risk of infertility.


BASHH spokesperson Paddy Horner said: “MG is treated with antibiotics, but as until recently there has been no commercially available test, it has often been misdiagnosed as chlamydia and treated as such.

“This is not curing the infection and is causing antimicrobial resistance in MG patients. If practices do not change and the tests are not used, MG has the potential to become a superbug within a decade, resistant to standard antibiotics.”

Testing and treating M. genitalium is still going to take some time to get it down packed. Europe is using multiple tests that are not FDA approved, so they can not be used in the U.S. Because the bacteria’s symptoms closely relates to those of chlamydia, people get treated for chlamydia. However, these antibiotics do not work well against M. genitalium, and can actually promote resistance against antibiotics. There still needs to be more research done to provide a simple and inexpensive test in the U.S. But there are hopes research will find some soon. In the meantime, it is always important to have safe and protected sex in order to reduce your chances of any diseases.

Before Sex, Open Your Mouth

No strings attached, casual, marriage, and friends with benefits are just some of the labels we hear when it comes to relationships and sex. Defining a relationship and what you are looking for is important to your partner. Communication is key to not only express what you are looking for in a relationship, but also what you are looking for in a sexual partner. Whether you are in a long term relationship, or just a one night stand, there are some things to keep in mind for a healthy relationship and sex life.


This is probably the most important aspect in your life when it comes to relationships-whether professional, sexual, or love. Do not hold back expressing exactly what you are looking for, this way the two of you are always on the same page. If you are looking just for sex, let it be known, if you are looking for something more serious, say that from the very start. The person you are considering starting a sexual relationship with may have different ideas about where this relationship is heading and being on the same page is important before you have sex.

A lot of times you will hear that a friends with benefits or casual relationship goes sour because the other person begins to want more- and that’s okay. As long as you say that things have changed and you want more then let it be known, so you can move forward together or seek the serious relationship you desire elsewhere, as long as you are open and up front about your intentions and desires.

What’s most important is making your voice heard when it comes to sex. Talk to your partner about what you like, what you are not willing to do, and what feels good of course! Having a healthy sex life can boost your immune system, your confidence, and even your metabolism.

Practice Safe Sex

Whether you choose to have no strings attached sex, are in a relationship, or are married, safe sex is crucial. Did you know that one in two sexually active people will contract an STD by the age 25? The CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new STD infections occur every year in the U.S.

It’s a lot more to think about than just an infection that you can take antibiotics for and get rid of. STDs such as HIV and AIDS can kill you, and once contracted you have it for life. Practice safe sex and use a condom with people you have casual sex with in order to protect yourself.