Usage Numbers for Reproductive Health Care Travel Released by DOD
Health

Flexible Policies for Reproductive Health Care Access: Department of Defense’s New Measures Provide Service Members and Dependents with Travel and Transportation Allows

The Department of Defense has recently implemented two policies that allow service members and eligible dependents to receive travel and transportation allowances to access noncovered reproductive health care services. These policies were introduced last year and have been used 12 times across the military services, with a total cost of approximately $45,000 between June and December 2023.

One policy allows service members to travel to another state or overseas location to access these services and then return home to their permanent duty station. Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh stated that while this policy has been used 12 times, it does not necessarily mean 12 individuals used it, as an individual may have used the policy multiple times.

Another policy implemented last year allows service members to be granted administrative absences from their normal duty stations for up to 21 days, without using leave, 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 noncovered reproductive health care services, service members are responsible for paying for the actual health care services. Singh emphasized that these policies aim to give service members and their families the time and flexibility to make private health care decisions and ensure access to noncovered reproductive health care services regardless of their duty station.

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