The Pentagon has recently announced that it has implemented two policies to allow service members and eligible dependents to receive travel and transportation reimbursements for non-covered reproductive health care services. This policy was introduced last year, and it allows individuals to travel to access these services at another location before returning to their home station. According to Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary at the Pentagon, this policy was used 12 times by the military services between June and December 2023, costing the department around $45,000.

However, Singh clarified that this does not necessarily mean that 12 different individuals used the policy. An individual could use the policy multiple times during that time period. Another policy introduced last year allows service members to take an administrative leave of absence from their regular duty for up to 21 days without using the leave to receive or accompany a spouse or dependent receiving uncovered reproductive health care services.

The policies cover non-covered reproductive health services such as egg retrieval, ovarian stimulation, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, and non-covered abortion. Service members may be reimbursed by the department for travel expenses but are responsible for covering the actual cost of their healthcare. These policies aim to provide service members and their families with the flexibility needed to make private health care decisions while ensuring access to non-covered reproductive health services regardless of where they are stationed.

By Samantha Johnson

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